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Digitized  by  the  Internet  Archive 

in  2007  with  funding  from 

Microsoft  Corporation 




of    SEA  TERMS 

FOR     THE     USE     OF 



A.    ANSTED. 


London : 
L.     UPCOTT      GILL,     170,     STRAND,     W.  C. 



\  o 




I  am  anxious  to  make  it  clear  that  this  little  Dictionary  is 
intended  as  a  help  to  beginners.  I  do  not  profess  to  teach 
those  who  may  be  already  experienced  in  yachting  and  the  art 
of  boat-sailing,  and  still  less  those  acquainted  with  the  sea.  For 
these  there  are  various  nautical  dictionaries ;  but  so  far  as  I  am 
aware,  there  is  no  such  work  exclusively  devoted  to  those  who 
start  in  entire  ignorance  of  their  subject ;  and  to  supply  this 
apparent  want  the  present  work  is  an  attempt. 

Such  a  work  presents  some  difficulties,  and  is,  therefore, 
naturally  open  to  criticism.  Nautical  terms  are  essentially 
technical ;  many  are  used  in  various  senses,  while  sometimes 
several  may  have  but  one  meaning.  And  besides  these  we  have 
a  list  of  expressions  which,  while  they  cannot  be  regarded  as  sea 
terms,  have  direct  reference  to  boat-building  and  boat-sailing. 

It  is  to  be  feared,  too,  that  some  of  those  phrases  now  commonly 
met  with  in  the  sporting  journals  may  have  been  overlooked. 
Numerous  as  are  the  terms  in  daily  use  among  seafaring  men, 
their  number  has  been  considerably  enlarged  of  late  years,  not 
only  in  consequence  of  recent  improvements  in  yacht-building, 
which  require  new  names  for  parts  and  fittings  hitherto  un- 
known, but  chiefly  in  consequence  of  that  tendency  in  a  certain 
class  of  sporting  scriveners  so  to  expand  the  technicality  and 
the  volubility  of  their  nautical  language  that  it  has  been  found 
impossible  to  keep  pace  with  them. 

True  maritime  terms  may  generally  be  traced  back  to  very 
simple  derivations.     To  understand  the  derivation  of  a  word  is  to 



understand  it  in  its  fullest  meaning.  For  this  reason,  wherever 
the  origin  of  an  expression  is  known,  I  have  taken  the  oppor- 
tunity of  inserting  it. 

The  principal  works  of  reference  used  in  this  compilation  are  : 
Falconer's  "  Dictionary  of  the  Marine";  Smyth's  "  Sailor's  Word- 
Book";  "Dictionary  of  Science,  Literature  and  Art"  (Brande 
and  Cox)  ;  "  The  Boating-man's  Vade-Mecum  "  (Winn)  ;  "Boat- 
sailing  for  Amateurs"  (Davies).  To  these  and  other  authorities 
I  must  acknowledge  my  indebtedness.  And,  in  conclusion,  I  must 
fulfil  a  promise  in  dedicating  my  work  to  my  two  children,  who, 
at  the  ages  of  seven  and  eight,  are  already  handy  in  a  boat  and 
familiar  with  a  great  number  of  the  terms  I  have  endeavoured  to 


September,  1897. 



A. — The  highest  class  under  which  vessels  are  registered  at 
Lloyd's.     It  is  sub-divided  into  A  1  and  A  2. 

a'. — An  Anglo-Saxonism  for  "on"  or  "in."  It  is  in  constant 
use  at  sea,  as  in  a'back,  a'board,  a*  stern,  etc. 

A.B. — The  initial  letters  of  the  words  able-bodied.  A  full  or 
first-class  seaman,  commonly  called  an  able  seaman,  is  classed  A.B. 

A'back. — Spoken  of  the  sails  when  laid  flat  against  a  mast, 
either  by  a  sudden  change  of  wind,  or,  in  some  instances,  they  may 
be  laid  aback  for  some  special  purpose.      (See  Back.) 

A'baft.— Behind  or  towards  the  stern  of  a  vessel.  Thus,  "  abaft 
the  funnel,"  so  frequently  seen  on  board  pleasure  steam  boats,  will 
mean  "  behind  the  funnel." 

A'beani. — On  the  side  of  a  vessel,  amidships.  Thus  "  wind 
a'beam, "  or  "  wind  on  the  beam,"  will  mean  wind  at  right  angles  to 
the  vessel.     (See  Wind.) 

A'board,  or  on  board.— On,  or  in,  a  vessel. 

About. — A  turning  round. 

To  go  about. — To  turn  a  vessel  round,  in  sailing,  on  to  another 
tack  or  direction.     (See  Tack.) 

Above  board. — Above  deck.  Hence  the  expression  in  every- 
day use,  meaning  "  honest,"  "  fair,"  or  "  in  the  light  of  day." 

A'box. — An  old  term  used  in  vjearing  a  ship.  It  means  to  lay 
the  ship  a'back,  and  thus  to  box  her  ojf. 

Accnl  (old  term). — Spoken  of  a  deep  bight  or  bay  which  ends  as 
a  eul  de  sac. 

Acker. — An  eddy  or  rising  tide.     (See  Eagre  and  Bore.) 

Ackmen. — An  old  name  for  freshwater  thieves. 

A'cock-bill. — Spoken  of  a  ship's  anchor,  when  hanging  out  with 
the  flukes  extended  in  a  position  ready  for  dropping.  In  most  har- 
bours vessels  are  prohibited  from  carrying  the  anchor  thus. 



Acorn. — An  ornament  at  the  head  of  a  mast  fashioned  in  the 
shape  of  an  acorn. 

A' drift. — Anything  which  floats  unfastened,  as  a  hoat  or  a  spar, 
which  may  have  broken  away,  or  a  ship  which  has  parted  from  her 

A'float. — Floating  on  the  water.  Off  the  ground. 
Aft. — Behind  :  towards  the  after  or  stern  part  of  a  vessel, or  it  may 
be  behind  the  vessel  itself  :  thus  a  boat  may  be  said  to  be  towed  aft. 
After-part. — The  hinder  part.  Thus  a  steersman  may,  accord- 
ing to  the  position  of  the  wheel,  stand  amidships,  or  in  the  after 
part  of  the  vessel.  So  also  the  after  cabin  will  be  the  cabin  nearest 
the  stern.     (See  also  A'baft.) 

A'grotmd. — Resting  on  the   ground,  often  spoken  of   a  vessel 
which  has  accidentally  run  aground,   or  as  it  is  sometimes  said, 
taken  the  ground.     (See  GROUND.) 
A'head. — In  front  of.     Before. 

Wind  ahead. — Wind  directly  against  the  course  of  a  vessel. 
A'hull.—"  The  situation  of  a  ship  when  all  her  sails  are  furled, 
and  her  helm  lashed  on  the  lee-side ;  she  then  lies  nearly  with  her 
side  to  the  wind  and  sea,  her  head  somewhat  turned  towards  the 
direction  of  the  wind."  (Falconer's  Dictionary.)  A  deserted 
vessel  is  also  occasionally  called  a'hull.     (See  also  under  Trying.) 

A'lee. — The  situation  of  the  helm  when  pushed  close  down  to 
the  lee-side  of  the  ship,  in  order  to  put  the  ship  about,  or  to  lay  her 
head  to  the  windward. 

All  hands.  All  hands  ahoy  ("  tout  le  motide  en  haut -." 
Fr.)  (at  sea). — The  call  by  which  all  hands  are  ordered  on  deck 
whether  it  be,  as  in  a  ship,  to  execute  some  necessary  change,  or,  as 
with  fishermen,  to  haul  a  net. 

All  in  the  wind. — An  expression  used  to  describe  the  position 
of  a  vessel  when  head  to  wind  (i.e.,  pointing  directly  against 
the  wind),  with  all  her  sails  flapping.  (See  also  "  in  irons, "  under 
Iron,  "in  stays,"  etc.,  under  Tack.)  The  term  is  also  sometimes 
used  in  everyday  conversation,  meaning  "  all  in  a  flurry." 

All  told. — Every  person  counted.  The  term  has  usual  reference 
to  a  ship's  crew,  when  it  will  include  the  idlers,  etc.,  but  not 
passengers.  Thus  a  ship  may  have  a  crew  of  20,  but  be  23  all 
told — that  is  including  cook,  carpenter,  and  steward. 

Aloft  (Loffter,  Dan.). — Up  in  the  tops:  overhead.  In  the 
upper  rigging,  or  on  the  yards,   etc. 

Lay  aloft. — The  order  to  go  aloft,  as  "lay  aloft  and  furl  the 
royals. " 
Alongside.— By  the  side  of. 

Aloof  (old  term). — To  keep  aloof,  i.e.,  to  keep  the  luff— i.e.,  up 
to  the  wind.     (See  Luff.) 

A'low. — Low  down.     Below,  or  below  deck. 

Amain. — Suddenly :  forcibly.  To  let  go  amain,  to  let  go  suddenly. 


Amateur.-In  sporting  language  one  who  takes  up  an  occupa- 
tionTonSsure-not  for  money  In  rowing  the  meaning  is  some- 
what restricted.  [See  also  under  Corinthian.)  At  Henley  1870 
the  following  definition  of  an  amateur  was  adopted.  No  person 

shall  he  considered  an  amateur  oarsman  or  sculler  :- 1-  W*>  has 
ever  competed  in  any  open  competition  for  a  stake,  money,  or 
entranc^ee-  2.  Who  has  ever  competed  with  or  against  a  pro- 
festal  for  any  prize;  3.  Who  has  ever  taught,  pursued,  or 
aSsted  in  the  prLtice  of  athletic  exercises  of  any  kind  as  a 
means  of  gaining  a  livelihood ;  4.  Who  has  been  employee 
iu  or  about  boats  for  money  or  wages;  5.  Who  is  or  Has 
been  by  trade  or  employment  for  wages,  a  mechanic,  artisan,  or 

labourer  "  -  e 

Amidships.-Generally  speaking,  the  middle  portion  of  a 
ve^el  The  point  of  intersection  of  two  lines,  one  drawn  from  stem 
to Ttern,  thePother  across  the  beam  (or  widest  part),  will  be  the 
actual  midships. 

Anchor.— The  form  and  parts  of  an 
anchor  are  as  follow :— A  is  the  shank  B 
the  arms,  terminating  in  the  flukes  (C), 
the  extremities  of  which  (D)  are  called 
the  bills  or  peaks,  while  the  smooth  flat 
side  of  the  fluke  (E)  is  the  palm,  t 
is  the  crown,  and  G  the  throat,  I  he 
stock  or  beam  (H)  crosses  the  lower  part 
of  the  shank  at  right  angles,  and  in  a 
plane  at  right  angles  to  the  plane  of  the 
arms:  J  is  the  shoulder  of  the  stock.  K 
is  the  rinc,  to  which  the  cable  is  bent  or 
the  chaiu°shackled  (L).  (For  the  manner 
of  bending— i.e.,   attaching  a  rope   to   this 

ring,  see  Knots.)    The  ring  hangs  in  the 
eye      The  stock  of  an  anchor  is  the  agent 

which    brings    the    flukes    into    a    position 

to    hold    the    ground.     In    doing    this    it 

has   often   to   sustain   great   strains,    and   is, 

most  liable  to  injury.      For  this  reason  a  stout   stock  is  to  be 

recommended.     It   has   been   said   that  the   sectional  area  at  the 

smallest  part  of  an  anchor  should  be  three  times  that  of  the  cable 
To  drop,  let  go,  or  cast  anchor,  are  terms  equivalent  to  comity  to 

aHToCwdffh  anchor  is  to  get  the  anchor  up  preparatory  to  getting 
under  sail  This  is  done  by  first  heaving  short— i.e.,  hauling  upon 
the  cable 'until  the  vessel  is  nearly  over  her  anchor,  which 
brings  the  anchor  «W- that  is  standing  on  its  crown.  When 
the  anchor  is  once  lifted  from  the  ground  it  is  said  to  be  a  weigh, 
weighed  or  a'trip :  when  it  reaches  the  surface  of  the  water  it  is 
«WA.  The  ship  being  now  free  is  said  to  be  under  weigh  (not 
under  way,  for  xcay  means  momentum),  and  the  vessel  may  be  under 


therefore,   the    part 

4  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEEMS. 

weigh  without  having  way;  she  is,  in  point  of  fact,  under  iveigk 
from  the  moment  her  anchor  is  weighed.  (See  also  under  Way 
and  Weigh.  ) 

Catting  the  anchor  is  getting  it  up  to  the  cathead.  When  it  has 
been  stowed  on  the  bill-board  it  is  said  to  be  fished,  and  the  tackle 
by  which  this  is  done  is  called  the  fish-tackle. 

Anchor  a' peak  denotes  that  the  cable  has  been  drawn  in  so  short 
as  to  bring  the  ship  directly  over  it. 

Anchor  cock-a-bill  is  a  term  used  to  signify  that  the  anchor  hangs, 
merely  by  its  cable,  over  the  vessel's  side,  with  the  stock  or  flukes 
extended,  just  above  the  water.  This,  in  the  London  river  and  in 
many  other  havens,  is  prohibited  by  law. 

If  the  anchor  holds  the  ground  well  it  is  said  to  bite.  Should  it 
drag  it  is  said  to  come  home.  But  at  the  same  time  to  fetch  home  or 
bring  home  the  anchor  is  to  draw  the  ship  closer  up  to  it,  for  the 
purpose,  perhaps,  of  weighing  it. 

When  the  cable  becomes  twisted  round  the  shank  or  stock,  or 
entangled  wdth  it  in  any  way,  it  is  called  folding. 

To  shoe  the  anchor  "  is  to  cover  the  flukes  with  a  broad  triangular 
piece  of  thick  plank,  whose  area  is  greater  than  that  of  the  flukes, 
in  order  to  give  the  anchor  a  stronger  hold  in  soft  ground. " 

To  back  an  ancho?;  "  to  carry  out  a  small  anchor,  as  the  stream 
or  kedge,  ahead  of  the  large  one  by  which  the  ship  usually  rides,  in 
order  to  support  it,  and  prevent  it  from  loosening,  or  coming  home,  in 
bad  ground.  In  this  situation  the  latter  is  confined  by  the  former, 
in  the  same  manner  that  the  ship  is  restrained  by  the  latter." 
(Falconer's  Dictionary. )  A  weight  is  sometimes  used  as  a  substitute 
for  the  smaller  anchor. 

Large  vessels  carry  several  anchors,  often  one  on  each  bow,  called, 
in  consequence,  bower  anchors.  Other  large  ones  are  known  as  sheet, 
stream,  stern,  toaist  and  spare  anchors,  and  besides  these  they  have 
small  ones  called  kedges  (or  kedge  anchors),  killicks  or  mudhooks. 
The  sheet-anchor,  the  largest  and  most  powerful  carried  by  a  ship, 
is  popularly  supposed  to  be  used  only  in  emer- 
gency or  as  a  last  resource  ;  and  hence  the  use 
of  the  term  in  this  sense  in  general  conversa- 
tion. Kedges  are  smaller  anchors  carried  by  a 
ship  and  used  by  her  for  various  purposes,  such 
as  when  swinging  her,  or  when  moving  from 
one  station  to  another  only  a  short  distance 
away  :  they  are  also  valuable  in  case  of  the 
vessel  taking  the  ground. 

A  grapnel  is  a  species  of  anchor  having  several 
flukes,  and  without  a  stock.  It  is  used  in 
dragging,  and  was  one  of  the  boarding  imple- 
ments in  old  naval  warfare.  Grapnel. 

Anchors    nowadays    are    of    various    forms, 
such  as  stockless,  folding,  grip,  triple  grip,  mushroom,  and  others. 
Tyzack's  patent   is  both  stockless  and  triple-grip,  and  claims  to 


and  tkiple-okip. 

combine  the  best  principles  of  good  holding  anchors  with  a  direct 
pull  upon  the  cable:  it  may  often  be  seen  in  first -class  ships. 
Ridley's  and  Wright's  patents  are  also 
stockless,  with  movable  grip.  Porter's 
patent  (an  older  type  of  improved  anchor) 
retains  the  stock,  being  in  form  of  the 
ordinary  pattern,  but  having  movable 
arms,  secured,  when  in  use,  by  a  small  fore- 
lock pin.  In  fact  nearly  all  anchors  now- 
adays are  either  without  a  stock  or  have  it 

The  mushroom  anchor — so  named  on 
account  of  its  shape  (see  fig.) — is  employed 
by  large  ships  on  mud  or  other  soft  bottoms, 
where  it  obtains  a  hold  far  more  secure 
than  any  other  form. 

The  objects  in  all  these  anchors  (beyond 
the  system  of  gripping)  are  to  lessen  the  risks  of  fouling,  and  to 
present  no  fluke  above  ground  against  which,  in  shallow  places,  a 
vessel  might  strike.  The  usual  method 
of  working  the  anchor  cable  in  small 
craft  is  to  take  two  or  three  turns  with 
it  round  the  windlass  (i.e., just  sufficient 
to  get  a  certain  bite),  and  then  to  pass 
the  rest  of  the  chain  through  an  aper- 
ture in  the  deck,  made  for  the  purpose, 
and  thus  down  to  the  chain  locker. 

Anchorage. — The  ground  in  which  the  anchor  is  cast.  Thus 
one  may  find  good  anchorage  or  bad,  the  good  being  that  in  which 
the  vessel  will  ride  safely,  the  bad  that  in  which  the  anchor  will  be 
likely  to  drag.  Yet  it  is  not  always  the  nature  of  the  soil  which 
constitutes  good  anchorage  ;  currents  or  the  run  of  the  tide  always 
have  much  to  do  with  it.  Land-locked  bays,  therefore,  and  positions 
well  out  of  the  tide,  will  form  the  best  anchorage.  The  term  an- 
chorage is  also  occasionally  used  to  denote  those  dues  which  are  paid 
by  vessels  for  the  privilege  of  casting  anchor  in  certain  harbours. 

Anemometer. — An  instrument  for  measuring  the  force  or  velo- 
city of  the  wind.  The  anemometer  most  generally  used  is  one  devised 
by  Dr.  Robinson,  and  made  by  Casella,  who  also  elaborated  and  modi- 
fied Robinson's  instrument  and  produced  one  of  great  accuracy. 

Aneroid. — An  instrument  answering  to  the  barometer,  but 
acting  by  the  pressure  of  the  atmosphere  upon  thin  metallic  plates. 
Its  general  form  resembles  that  of  a  watch.  The  aneroid  is  fre- 
quently used  at  sea  to  obtain  meteorological  readings,  although 
amongst  scientific  men  it  is  hardly  considered  a  reliable  agent. 
"  This  instrument  has  never  been  satisfactorily  employed  on  board 
ship.  There  is  great  difficulty  in  placing  it  where  it  shall  not  be 
exposed  to  draughts  of  air,  and  if  it  be  placed  high  above  the  deck 

Mushroom  Anchor. 


its  indications  are  affected  by  rolling  and  the  other  motions  of  the 
ship."  (R.  H.  Scott,  M.A.,  F.R.S.,  Secretary  of  the  Meteorological 
Office.)     Yachtsmen,  however,  are  seldom  without  an  aneroid. 

A'peak. — Spoken  of  the  position  of  an  anchor  when  a  vessel  is 
hove-short  above  it.  (See  Anchor.  ) 

Apparently  drowned. — For  directions  for  restoring,  see 

Apron,  stemson,  or  stomach-niece.—  l.  (In  shipbuild- 
ing.) A  backing  or  strengthening  timber  behind  the  stern-post 
of  a  vessel.  (See  diagram  under  Frame.)  2.  (In  hydraulic 
engineering.)  The  enclosure  of  timber,  brick,  or  stone  at  the 
down  side  of  a  lock  is  sometimes  called  the  apron  wall. 

Arching. — Another  name  for  hogging  (tohich  see). 

Ardent. — A  vessel  is  described  as  ardent  when ,  her  tendency  being 
to  run  up  into  the  wind,  she  carries  a  good  weather  helm  (which  see). 

Ashore.  —  On  terra  firma.  A  vessel  aground  is  sometimes 
spoken  of  as  "ashore."     (See  Ground.) 

Astay. — In  line  with  a  stay,  or  with  the  fore  stay. 

Astern. — Behind.  In  the  after  part  of  a  vessel ;  behind  the 
vessel ;  in  her  wake. 

Go  astern. — Go  sternwards  :  or,  with  a  steam  boat,  an  order  to 
work  her  backwards. 

Athwart,  athwartships. — Across.  Hence  the  rowers'  seats 
in  an  open  boat  are  called  "  thwarts  "  because  they  lie  athwart,  or 
across  the  boat. 

To  drop  athwart  anything. — To  come  across  it ;   to  find  it. 

Athwart  hawse. — Within  the  length  of  a  vessel's  cable.  (The 
term  is  explained  under  HAWSE.) 

A 'trip. — 1.  Spoken  of  an  anchor  when  it  is  just  off  the  ground 
or  a'lveign.  (.See  ANCHOR.)  2.  (Of  sails.)  When  the  sails  are  ready 
for  trimming. 

Austral. — Southern. 

Avast. — The  order  to  stop  or  pause  in  any  exercise  ;  as  "  avast 
heaving. " 

Awash. — Being  under  or  washed  over  by  water,  as  the  lee  gunwale 
of  a  yacht  or  decked  sailing  boat  may  be  when  she  lies  much  over. 

Anchor  awash. — When,  in  weighing  the  anchor,  it  reaches  the 
surface  of  the  water,  it  is  said  to  be  awash. 

Away. — Gone  :   having  let  anything  go :   free. 

Carried  away. — Broken  away  ;  as  to  cany  away  a  topmast — i.e., 
to  suffer  the  loss  of  the  topmast. 

A" weather. — Towards  the  weather  side — i.e.,  the  side  upon  which 
the  wind  blows. 

Helm  a? weather. — The  helm  put  up.     (See  Helm.) 

A'weigh. — Spoken  of  an  anchor  when  it  has  been  lifted  from 
the  ground. 

A'wheft. — Said  of  a  flag  when  stopped  so  as  to  represent  a  wheft. 


Awning. — A  canvas  covering  acting  as  a  roof  or  tent. 

Aye  {adv.,  perhaps  from  ajo,  Lat.  (defective  verb),  to  say  yes). — 
Yes,  and  is  always  used  in  lieu  thereof  at  sea,  with  a  repetition, 
"Aye,  aye,  sir,"  meaning  "I  understand;  and  will  execute  the 
order. " 


Back. — With  sailing  ships. — To  back  is  to  haul  the  sails  over  to 
windward.  In  square  rigged  vessels  this  is  only  done  on  special  oc- 
casions, when  it  is  called  laying  the  sails  aback.  In  small  craft  the 
practice  is  more  frequent,  and  especially  with  boats  which  are  slow 
in  stays,  (i.e.,  in  coming  round,  in  tacking),  as  those  of  much  length 
often  are.  By  holding  a  foresail  or  a  jib  over  to  the  weather  side 
(the  side  upon  which  the  wind  is  blowing)  the  boat's  head  will  be 
thrown  off,  or  away  from  the  wind,  and  she  will  often  come  round  ; 
this  is  called  boxing  off  her  head.  But  by  holding  the  boom  of  the 
main  or  mizzen  sail  to  windward,  her  stern  will  be  thrown  off ;  and 
this,  properly  speaking,  is  back-sailing,  which  is,  as  it  were,  the  op- 
posite to  boxing  off ;  although,  in  many  instances,  it  answers  the 
same  purpose.    (See  Boxing  off.) 

With  steam  vessels. — "  Back  her  "  is  an  order  to  reverse  engines, 
so  that  the  ship  may  be  suddenly  stopped  or  made  to  go  astern. 

In  rowing,  to  back,  or  backwater,  is  to  stop  the  progress  of  a  boat 
suddenly,  or  to  drive  her  backwards,  by  pushing  the  oars  in  the 
direction  contrary  to  that  employed  in  ordinaiy  rowing. 

Back  and  fill. — A  term  used  of  a  vessel  when,  in  a  narrow 
channel,  with  the  wind  against  her,  but  with  a  favourable  tide, 
she  allows  herself  to  be  carried  on  the  tide,  keeping  in  the  stream 
by  alternately  filling  her  sails  and  laying  them  aback. 

To  back  an  anchor. — To  add  a  smaller  anchor,  or  a  weight,  to 
a  large  one  to  prevent  its  coming  home,  i. e. ,  dragging.  (See  ANCHOR. ) 

Back-board  or  backrail. — In  skiffs,  the  framing  or  rail  round 
the  after  thwart,  making  this  a  comfortable  seat  for  coxswain  and 
passengers.  It  is  sometimes  of  iron,  and  sometimes  of  mahogany 
and  cane  work. 

Back-rope  (in  ships). — The  rope  which  stays  the  dolphin  striker.  It 
is,  properly  speaking,  the  pendant  of  the  tackle  which  sets  up  the 
dolphin  striker,  and  it  is  usually  of  chain. 

Back-stays. — Ropes  stretched  from  a  mast  or  topmast  head 
to  the  sides  of  a  vessel — some  way  aft  of  the  mast  —  to  give 
extra  support  to  the  masts  against  going  forward.  In  smaller 
craft  they  are  usually  passed  over  the  head  of  the  mast,  above 
the  shrouds,  and  terminate  with  tackles.  There  are  back-stays 
and  topmast  back-stays,  named  according  to  the  mast  they  support, 
the  term  "  back-stays  "  without  further  specification  usually  mean- 
ing those  of  the  lower  mast.  The  topmast  back-stays  are  so 
arranged  that  they  may  be  slackened  off  as  the  boom  swings 
over ;  for  their  position  is  such  that  unless  slackened  the  boom  and 
sail  would  foul  them.     It  is   evident,  therefore,  that  if  the  boat 

8  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEEMS. 

be  tacking  -  about,  these  topmast  back-stays  must  be  continually 
shifted,  for  which  reason  they  are  often  called  shifting  back- 
stays ;  or  that  if  she  be  running  before  the  wind  they  must  be  run 
right  out,  so  as  to  let  the  boom  lay  over;  and  consequently  these 
shifting  stays  may  just  as  well  be,  and  often  are,  called  runners, 
and  sometimes  travellers.  In  small  boats,  however,  and  those  to 
be  worked  single-handed,  this  continual  shifting  of  stays  is  found 
to  be  very  awkward,  while  the  mast  is  so  short  as  hardly  to  require 
their  support,  except  in  the  case  of  racing  ;  and  on  this  account  they 
are  generally  dispensed  with.  In  ships,  the  back-stays  being  more 
numerous, the  forward  ones  are  called  breast  backstays, and  sustain  the 
mast  when  the  wind  is  before  the  beam,  while  the  after  ones  maybe 
shifted  from  side  to  side,  as  required,  and  constitute  the  travellers. 

Backing  of  the  wind. — The  veering  of  the  wind  in  the 
direction  opposite  to  that  of  the  sun's  circuit.  Winds  may 
continue  veering  in  the  direction  of  the  sun  for  several  days 
together,  circling  the  compass  several  times ;  but  the  opposite 
to  this,  called  backing,  seldom,  if  ever,  completes  the  circle. 
Backing  generally  prognosticates  unsettled  weather. 

Backwater.  (In  rowing,  see  Back.) — A  backwater  is  a  small 
stream  or  ditch  behind  a  river  wall ;  it  takes  the  drainage  of  the 
country  round,  which  has  been  cut  off  from  the  natural  drainage  of 
the  river  by  the  construction  of  the  wall.  The  backwater  therefore 
communicates  with  the  river,  either  by  pipes  or  at  certain  intervals 
by  sluices. 

Baffle. — To  baffle   with  the   wind  is  to   contend  against  it,  as 
when  beating  to  windward  in  veiy  foul  weather.     {See  Tack.  ) 
.   Baffling  winds  are  those  which  frequently  shift. 

Bag-reef  (in  square  sails). — An  extra  reef  band  (band  of  canvas)  on 
a  sail,  the  most  general  use  of  which  is  to  prevent  the  sail  from  bagging. 
Balance-lug.— {See  Lug.) 

Balance-reef  (of  a  gaff-sail). — A  reef  band  (that  is  a  band  of 
canvas)  sewed  diagonally  across  the  sail  from  the  highest  reef 
cringle  of  the  after  leech  to  the  throat  earing.  It  alloAvs  the  sail  to 
be  so  reefed  that  either  the  peak  or  the  lower  half  only  may  be  set. 
But  it  is  rarely  seen. 

Bale,  baler. — To  bale  or  bale  out  is  to  remove  water  from  an 
open  boat  by  means  of  a  baler,  which  may  be  any  small  vessel 
capable  of  holding  water,  such  as  a  hand  bowl  or  an  old  tin  pot. 
The  baler  is  occasionally  dignified  by  the  name  of  the  kit. 

Ball,  or  ball  off. — To  twist  rope  yarns  into  balls. 

Ballast. — "  Weight  deposited  in  a  ship's  hold  when  she  has  no 
cargo,  or  too  little  to  bring  her  sufficiently  low  in  the  water.  It  is 
used  to  counterbalance  the  effect  of  the  wind  upon  the  masts,  and 
give  the  ship  a  proper  stability,  that  she  may  be  enabled  to  carry 
sail  without  danger  of  upsetting.  To  ballast  a  ship,  therefore,  is 
the  art  of  disposing  those  materials  so  that  she  may  be  duly  poised 


and  maintain  a  proper  equilibrium  on  the  water,  so  as  neither  to  be 
too  stiff  nor  too  crank,  qualities  equally  pernicious  :  as  in  the  first, 
although  the  ship  may  be  fitted  to  carry  a  great  sail,  yet  her  velocity 
Mill  not  be  proportionately  increased,  whilst  her  masts  are  more 
endangered  by  her  sudden  jerks  and  excessive  labouring :  and,  in 
the  last,  she  will  be  incapable  of  carrying  sail  without  the  risk  of 
upsetting.  Stiffness  in  ballasting  is  occasioned  by  disposing  a  great 
quantity  of  heavy  ballast,  as  lead,  iron,  etc.,  in  the  bottom,  which 
naturally  places  the  centre  of  gravity  very  near  the  keel ;  and  that 
being  the  centre  about  which  the  vibrations  are  made,  the  lower  it  is 
placed  the  more  violent  will  be  the  motion  of  rolling.  Crankness, 
on  the  other  hand,  is  occasioned  by  lading  so  as  to  raise  the 
centre  of  gravity  too  high,  which  also  endangers  the  mast  in  carry- 
ing sail  when  it  blows  hard  :  for  when  the  masts  lose  their  perpen- 
dicular height,  they  strain  on  the  shrouds  in  the  nature  of  a  lever, 
which  increases  the  size  of  their  obliquity ;  and  a  ship  that  loses 
her  masts  is  in  great  danger  of  being  lost.  The  whole  art  of 
ballasting,  therefore,  consists  in  placing  the  centre  of  gravity  to 
correspond  with  the  trim  and  shape  of  the  vessel,  so  as  neither 
to  be  too  high  nor  too  low,  too  far  forward  nor  too  far  aft  ; 
and  to  lade  the  ship  so  deep,  that  the  surface  of  the  water  may 
nearly  rise  to  the  extreme  breadth  amidships ;  and  thus  she  will 
be  enabled  to  cany  a  good  sail,  incline  but  little,  and  ply  well 
to  the  windward."     (Falconer's  "Dictionary  of  the  Marine.") 

Ballast. — "Weighty  material  placed  in  the  bottom  of  a  ship  or 
vessel,  to  give  her  stiffness ;  that  is,  to  increase  her  tendency  to 
return  to  the  upright  position  when  inclined  or  heeled  over  by  the 
force  of  the  wind  or  other 
cause. "  (Brande  and  Cox. ) 
Small  craft  may  be  bal- 
lasted with  either  iron 
(usually  cast),  lead,  zinc, 
or  bags  of  shot.  Beach- 
ing boats  often  carry  bags 
which  are  filled  with  shin- 
gle or  sand  as  may  be  re- 
quired :  the  sand  is  found, 
by  absorbing  a  great  quan- 
tity of  water,  to  swell  some- 
times to  so  great  an  ex- 
tent as  to  burst  the  bags, 
which  should  not  therefore 
be  too  full  of  this  ma- 
terial. Certain  boats, 
more  particularly  those 
belonging  to  the  Navy, 
are  fitted  with  tanks  filled 
with  fresh  water  ;  and  as 
this  fresh  water  is  with- 

A>         Balloon  Canvas 

(See  next  page). 


Balloon  jib. 
Balloon  foresail. 
Jack  topsail. 

B.  Rl'.N.MNG. 

5.    Mainsail. 


Big  topsail. 



drawn  for  use,  salt  water  can  take  its  place  in  the  tank. 
The  cheapest  form  of  hallast  for  boats  (next  to  shingle)  is  cast 
iron,  which  should  he  painted ;  the  most  expensive,  and  best,  is 
shot  in  bags,  which  lies  flat,  and  absorbs  no  moisture.  A  free 
waterway  should  be  left  under  all  ballast. 

Balloon  canvas,  or  press  canvas. — The  extra  spread  of  canvas 
(i.e.,  sail)  used  by  yachts  in  racing.  Thus  a  large  cutter  may  carry, 
besides  her  ordinary  sails,  balloon  jib,  balloon  foresail,  spinnaker, 
ringsail  (or  studsail),  big  topsail,  according  to  the  weather  and  the 
courses  she  makes.     (See  diagram  on  preceding  page.) 

Bank  (of  oars). — Single  and  double. — (From  the  French  word 
banc,  a  bench. )  The  origin  of  this  word  will  indicate  the  meaning 
of  the  terms  single  banked  and  double  banked.  A  single  banked 
boat  is  one  in  which  only  one  rower  sits  on  each  thwart  (seat) ;  a 
double  banked  boat  one  in  which  two  men  occupy  each  seat  with  an 
oar  out  each  side,  as  is  often  the  case  in  the  Royal  Navy. 
Bank. — An  elevation  of  the  bottom  of  the  sea. 
Banker. — A  vessel  employed  in  the  cod  fishery,  on  the  Banks  of 


Bar  (of  a  harbour). 
— A  shoal  or  bank  of 

sand,     gravel,     etc.  ; 

thrown     up     by     the 

opposite  action  of  the 

sea  and   river  at   the 

mouth  of  a  river. 
Barepoles.  —  The 

masts,  yards,  etc.,  of 

a  vessel  without   the 


Sailing  or  scudding 

under     bare    poles.— 

Sailing     or     running 

before  a  gale  without 

any   sails    set.      (See 


Barge.— "A   gen- 
eral   name    given    to 

flat-bottomed    craft." 

In  ancient  times  the 

name  was  also  given 

to  large  boats  of  state 

or   pleasure,    and    in 

later   days   to  one  of 

the  boats  of  a  man-of- 
war.  The  barges  of  to-  --  -  ~*r~~-^  '3£q  _J/ 

day  are  of  various  de- 
scriptions, being  either  Topsail  Barges. 



<,-«.    «?? 

Canal  Baugk. 

sea-going,  river,  or  canal.  But  lighters,  hoys,  and  other  carrying 
craft  on  rivers  are  also  indiscriminately  comprehended  under 
the  name  of  harge.  The  sailing  harge  is  particularly  to  be 
distinguished  from  other 
craft  by  being  sprit 
rigged — i.e.,  by  having 
a  sprit-sail  as  a  main- 
sail (see  Sprit),  and 
by  a  very  small  mizzen 
sail,  sometimes  called 
the  jigger,  the  mast 
and  sheet  of  which  are 
often  fixed  to  the  rud- 
der, and  the  use  of 
which  sail  is  to  aid  the 
action  of  the  rudder 
(with  which  it  works) 
in  getting  the  long 
hull  about  when  tack- 
ing. The  hull  is  very 
long,  wall  -  sided,  flat- 
bottomed,  and  lies  very 
deep  in  the  water  ;  and, 

almost  the  whole  of  the  interior  being  devoted  to  cargo,  the  mast  is 
sometimes  fixed  on  deck  in  a  framework  called  the  tabernacle.  The 
class  is  sub-divided  into  two  rigs,  viz.  : — 1.  The  topsail  barge — that 
is  one  carrying  a  topsail,  and  this  is  the  sea -going  barge;  and 
2.  The  river  or  Medway  barge,  which  carries  no  topsail  and  is  there- 
fore rigged  with  only  a  pole  main  mast.  Both  of  these  carry  the 
sprit-main-sail  and  the  small  mizzen  either  attached  to  or  working 
with  the  rudder,  the  principle  of  which  is  well  worthy  of  study,  and 
which  has  sometimes  been  applied  to  pleasure  boats.  These  vessels, 
in  common  with  other  flat-bottomed  craft,  have  lee-boards  (tohich 
see) ;  they  sail  rapidly  in  a  fresh  breeze,  very  close  to  the  wind, 
and  can  face  almost  any  weather,  with  the  seas  washing  over 
them  from  end  to  end. 

Barge-pole. — A  long  pole  used 
on  board  a  barge,  for  pushing  any 
object  off  her,  or  for  holding  on 
by,  to  a  quay  or  wharf,  for  which 
latter  purpose  it  is  sometimes  fur- 
nished with  a  hook.  (See  Quant.  ) 
Bark,  barkentine.  —  Bark. 
—  Generally  speaking  a  three- 
masted  vessel  square  -  rigged  on 
the  fore  and  main  masts  and  fore-and-aft  rigged  on  the  mizzen. 
The  following  definition  is  given  by  Denham  Robinson  : — "  Bark 
or  barque  (Low  Lat.,  barca).  A  term  applied  rather  vaguely  to 
square-rigged  merchant  vessels.    A  bark  has  three  masts  which  do 


12  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

not  rake  ;  but  beyond  this  there  appears  to  be  no  special  mark 
to  distinguish  it  from  any  other  large  merchantman.  A  bark, 
however,  is  never  a  steamer."  But  among  coasters  the  bark  is 
distinguished  from  the  barkentine, 
a  merchant  vessel  having  three 
masts,  the  foremast  square-rigged 
like  the  bark,  but  the  main  and 
mizzen  masts  fore-and-aft  rigged. 
These  are  occasionally  called  three- 
masted  schooners  or  jackass  rig ; 
but  here  again  a  distinction  must 
be  made,  the  barkentine  having 
a     brig    foremast     (i.e.,    foremast, 

fore-topmast,  and  fore-top-gallant),  Barkentine. 

while    the    three  -  masted    schooner 

has  the  schooner  foremast  (foremast  and  fore-top-mast  only).     (See 
also  under  Schooner.) 

Barnacles. — "  Most  probably  from  the  late  Latin  pernacula, 
diminutive  of  perna,  a  ham,  from  a  supposed  resemblance  to  a  leg  of 
pork."  (Brande  and  Cox.)  A  general  term  amongst  sea- faring  men 
for  any  of  those  shelled  animals  of  the  division  mollusca  which  fix 
themselves  to  the  bottoms  of  boats,  the  piles  of  piers,  quays,  etc., 
under  water,  and  more  especially  at  the  water  bine  or  between  high 
and  low  water  marks.  It  is  found  that  there  are  certain  metals, 
copper  in  particular,  to  which  these  creatures  have  an  objection  to 
fix  themselves,  in  consequence  of  which  fact  wooden  vessels  are 
copper-bottomed.  (See  Copper.)  There  are  also  certain  paints 
which  profess  to  answer  the  same  purpose  as  copper. 

Barometer. — A  well-known  instrument,  invented  by  Torricelli, 
for  measuring  the  weight  or  pressure  of  the  atmosphere.  Whatever 
tends  to  inci-ease  or  diminish  this  pressure  will  cause  the  barometer 
to  rise  or  fall.  Hence  the  barometer  is  a  foreteller  of  wind  rather 
than  of  wet  or  dry. 

Basin. — A  dock  in  which  vessels  float  at  any  state  of  the  tide. 
Batten. — Battens  are  long  strips  of  wood  used  for  various  pur- 

To  batten  down. — To  cover  up  and  fix  down — usually  spoken  of 
hatches  when  they  are  covered  over  with  canvas,  and  this  canvas 
is  held  down  with  long  battens. 

Battened  sails. — Sails  across  which  light  battens  (often  of  bamboo) 
are  laid.  Their  use  may  be  said  to  be  three-fold— rFirstly,  they 
assist  in  keeping  sails  flat,  thereby  increasing  the  speed  of  a  boat ; 
secondly,  they  simplify  the  process  of  reefing  ;  and  thirdly,  they 
enable  sail  to  be  struck  (dropped)  with  considerable  rapidity.  (See 
fig.  under  Canoe.)  In  England,  battens  are  applied,  as  a  rule, 
only  to  the  sails  of  boats  or  small  craft ;  but  in  the  east,  where 
the  practice  appears  to  have  originated,  they  are  employed  in 
large  sailing  ships,    and    are    found    to   be  of  great  service  where 



Thames  Bawley. 

squalls  come  down  very  suddenly  and  with  great  severity.  Various 
systems  of  reefing  these  sails  have  heen  tried  of  late  years,  some 
consisting  of  elaborate  systems  of  tackles  for  drawing  the  battens 
together.  These,  however,  are  tilings  rather  of  play  :  their  great 
drawback  lies  in  their  liability  to 
entanglement ;  and  as  it  is  always 
possible  that  such  an  event  might 
take  place  at  a  critical  moment,  be- 
ginners are  recommended  to  have  but 
little  to  do  with  them  until  suffi- 
ciently experienced  to  take  the  con- 
sequence of  mishap. 

Baulks. — Heavy  pieces  of  timber, 
such  as  piles  before  erection,  etc. 
Brackets,  in  almost  any  position, 
holding  two  or  more  timbers  to- 
gether, or  preventing  them  from 

Bawley. — The  name  given  to  a 
class  of  fishing  smack  common  to 
the  Thames  below  Gravesend.  These 
craft  are  often  clincher  built  with 
bluff-bows ;  cutter  rigged,  with  a 
trysail  (mainsail  without  boom),  and 

very  generally  carry  a  jib-topsail.  They  are  exceedingly  stiff ; 
good  weather  boats  ;  and  are  employed  in  the  whitebait,  sprat, 
and  shrimp  fisheries,  etc. 

Beach. — The  margin  of  the  land  exposed  to  tidal  action. 

Beaching  boats. — The  act  of  running  them  up  on  a  beach  :  when 
up  they  are  said  to  be  beached.  It  is  not  an  easy  matter  to  beacli 
a  boat  in  a  heavy  sea,  the  rudder  becoming,  as  the  boat  approaches 
the  shore,  of  less  and  less  use :  everything  depends,  therefore, 
upon  the  oars.  As  a  rule  it  is  dangerous  to  go  in  on  a  big  wave  : 
experience  will  soon  convince  the  beginner  that  the  advice  to  do 
so  (except  it  comes  from  a  "  long-shore  "  man)  may,  if  blindly 
followed,  lead  to  unpleasant  consequences.  The  small  waves  float 
the  boat  longest  and  more  evenly,  and  are  better  to  come  in  upon. 
Pull  hard  as  the  boat  descends,  lighter  in  the  hollow  of  the  wave, 
and  easy  on  the  top. 

Beach  boats  are  those  which  are  kept  on  the  beach.  They  are  built 
to  take  the  beach,  and  are  far  more  useful  in  their  situation  than 
any  strange  ones  can  be.  A  good  beach  boat  is  one  which  takes  the 
beach  well  and  is  easily  got  off  it.  Beaching  boats,  when  their 
form  admits  of  it,  is  a  good  practice ;  it  increases  their  length  of 
life.  When  beached  for  any  length  of  time,  however,  they  should 
occasionally  be  half  filled  with  water  to  keep  their  strakes  swelled. 

Beacon. — A  landmark  put  up  to  steer  by.  A  pole  marking  out 
a  shoal  or  a  channel. 

14  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEEMS. 

Beak,  beak-head. — The  beak  is  the  extreme  fore-part  of  a 
vessel.  "The  beak-head,  in  large  vessels  with  figure-heads,  is  the 
small  platform  between  the  figure-head  and  the  bulwarks  of  the 
forecastle.  It  is  secluded  from  the  view  of  the  deck,  and 
contains  the  latrines  of  the  crew."  This  will  be  recognised  on 
old  ships. 

Beam. — The  width  of  a  vessel,  at  her  widest  part :  the  term  is 
derived  from  the  beams,  strong  timbers  extending  across  the  ship, 
supporting  the  decks  and  strengthening  the  sides,  and  the  widest 
of  these  will,  of  course,  be  the  width  of  the  vessel  inside.  But  by 
the  beam,  meaning  width,  is  now  always  understood  to  be 
the  outside  measurement.  In  nautical  language,  a  wide 
vessel  is  said  to  have  more  beam  than  a  narrow  one ;  and,  in 
bike  manner,  a  boat  with  plenty  of  beam  (width)  is  described 
as  beamy. 

Beam  ends.— A.  ship  thrown  completely  upon  her  side  is  said  to  be 
on  her  beam  ends,  when  her  masts  may  have  to  be  cut  away  before 
she  can  be  righted.  Hence,  a  person  who,  either  in  posture  or  in 
business,  has  very  nearly  over-reached  the  centre  of  gravity,  may  be 
said  to  be  on  Ms  beam  ends. 

A'beam. — An  object  seen  across  the  middle  of  the  ship  is  spoken 
of  as  a'beam.  If  the  wind  blow  directly  upon  the  side  of  the  ship 
she  is  sailing  with  the  wind  a'beam:  if  it  lies  in  a  direction  between 
the  beam  and  the  quarter,  she  has  the  wind  abaft  the  beam  and  is 
said  to  be  sailing  free,  or  large  or  going  free. 

"  Beak-arm,  or  fork-beam. — A  forked  piece  of  timber,  nearly  of 
the  depth  of  the  beam,  scarfed,  tabled,  and  l>olted,  for  additional 
security,  to  the  sides  of  beams  athwart  large  openings  in  decks,  as 
the  main  hatchway  and  the  mast- rooms. 

"  Breast-beams  are  those  beams  at  the  forepart  of  the  quarter-deck 
and  round-house,  and  after-part  of  the  forecastle.  They  are  sided 
larger  than  the  rest,  as  they  have  an  ornamental  rail  in  the  front, 
formed  from  the  solid,  and  a  rabbet  one  inch  broader  than  its  depth, 
which  must  be  sufficient  to  buiy  the  deals  of  the  deck,  and  one  inch 
above  for  a  spurn-water.  To  prevent  splitting  the  beam  in  the 
rabbet,  the  nails  of  the  deck  should  be  crossed,  or  so  placed,  alter- 
nately, as  to  form  a  sort  of  zigzag  line. 

"  Cat-beam,  or  beak-head  beam. — This  is  the  broadest  beam  in  a 
ship,  generally  made  in  two  breadths,  tabled  and  bolted  together. 
The  foreside  is  placed  far  enough  forward  to  receive  the  heads  of 
the  stanchions  of  the  beak-head  bulk-head. 

"  The  collar-beam  is  the  beam  upon  which  the  stanchions 
of  the  beak-head  bulk-head  stand.  The  upper  side  of  it  is  kept 
well  with  the  upper  side  of  the  upper  deck  port-sills,  and  lets 
down  upon  the  spirketing  at  the  side.  But  its  casting  over  the 
bowsprit  in  the  middle  giving  it  a  form  which  in  timber  is  not 
to  be  obtained  without  difficulty,  a  framing  of  two  large  carlings 
and  a  stanchion  on  each  side  of  the  bowsprit  is  now  generally  sub- 
stituted in  its  place. 


"  Half -beams  are  short  beams  introduced  to  support  the  deck  where 
there  is  no  framing,  as  in  those  places  where  the  beams  are  kept 
asunder  by  hatchways,  ladder-ways,  etc.  They  are  let  down  on  the 
clamp  at  the  side,  and  near  midships  into  fore-and-aft  carlings.  On 
some  decks  they  are,  abaft  the  mizzenmast,  generally  of  fir,  let  into 
the  side  tier  of  carlings. 

"  The  midship-beam  is  the  longest  beam  of  the  ship,  lodged  in  the 
midship  frame,  or  between  the  widest  frame  of  timbers. 

"  Palleting -beams  are  those  beams  under  the  flat  of  the  magazine, 
bread-room,  and  powder-room,  where  there  is  a  double  palleting. 
The  upper  tier  are  of  fir,  and  rabbets  are  taken  out  of  their  edge  to 
form  scuttles. "  (James  Greenwood,  B. A.,  "Rudimentary  Treatise 
on  Navigation,"  1850.) 

"  Orlop-beams. — Those  beams  which  support  the  orlop-deck,  but 
are  chiefly  intended  to  fortify  the  hold. " 

Beam  of  an  anchor. — The  stock.     (See  Anchor.) 

Bear. — Bear  away,  bear  up. — If,  after  being  close-hauled,  the 
helm  of  the  vessel  be  put  up  (i.e.,  towards  the  windward  side)  and 
the  sheets  be  eased  off,  by  which  actions  the  vessel  will  be  made  to 
sail  more  or  less  before  the  wind,  she  is  said  to  be  bearing  away. 
Orders  to  bear  up,  or  to  bear  away,  mean  practically,  therefore,  the 
same  thing,  viz.,  to  put  the  helm  up.      (See  under  Helm.) 

Bear  down. — To  go  towards.  This  term  has  not  of  necessity 
any  reference  to  the  direction  in  which  the  tiller  is  to  be  thrust. 
It  is  understood,  however,  that  the  vessel  which  bears  down  upon 
another,  or  upon  some  object,  is  situated  to  windward  of  that 
object,  and,  therefore,  has  the  advantage  of  it.  If,  for  instance, 
we  are  told  that  a  large  ship  is  bearing  down  upon  us,  we  instinctively 
look  to  the  windward  side. 

Bear  off. — Usually  an  order,  as  "  bear  off  that  cask  " — meaning 
keep  it  off. 

Bear  a  hand. — Usually  an  appeal  for  assistance,  and  that 

Bearding. — The  fore-part  of  a  rudder.     (See  Rudder.) 

Bearers.— (See  Flat-floors.) 

Bearings.  —  The  word  "  bearing  "  properly  belongs  to  the 
art  of  navigation,  in  which  it  signifies  "  the  direction,  or  angular 
distance  from  the  meridian,  in  which  an  object  is  seen. "  Roughly 
speaking,  it  is  the  direction  in  which  an  object  is  seen  from  a  vessel, 
as  to  say  that,"  the  point  of  land  bore  N.E.,"  meaning  that  it  was 
seen  from  the  vessel  in  a  north-easterly  direction.  Thus  to  keep  one's 
bearings  is  to  keep  a  certain  point  in  view  in  the  same  direction. 
To  be  out  of  one's  bearings,  to  be  travelling  in  a  wrong  direction. 
To  lose  one's  bearings,  to  lose  one's  way,  as  it  were,  upon  the 

Beat  (in  sailing). — Beating,  beating  up,  beating  to  windward ; 
also  called  working  to  windward,  pegging  to  windward,  and  some- 
times tacking,  is  making  progress  against  the  wind  (and,  therefore, 



close-hauled)  l>y  a  zigzag  course,  with  the  wind  first  on  one  bow  and 
then  on  the  other. 

Becalmed.— To  be  becalmed  is  to  be  left  without  a  wind,  and 
therefore,  in  a  sailing  ship,  to  be  without  power  of  moving.  But  we 
hear  of  vessels  of  considerable  burden  making  habitual  use  of  sweeps 
(large  oars),  when  becalmed,  so  lately  as  the  early  part  of  the 
present  century  ;  and  with  some  foreigners  it  is  still  the  practice. 

Becket. — An  eye  in  the  end  of  a  rope  :  it  is  often  used  in 
connection  with  a  toggle.  (Sec  TOGGLE  AND  Becket.)  Falconer 
gives  the  following  definition  of  beckets :  "Anything  used  to  confine 
loose  ropes,  tackles,  oars,  or  spars,  in  a  convenient  place  :  hence, 
beckets  are  either  large  hooks,  or  short  pieces 
of  rope,  with  a  knot  on  one  end  and  an  eye  in 
the  other,  or  formed  bike  a  circular  wreath ; 
or  they  are  wooden  brackets,  and,  probably, 
from  a  corruption  and  misapplication  of  this 
last  term,  arose  the  word  becket,  which  seems 
often  to  be  confounded  with  bracket."  The 
word  beckets,  in  naval  phraseology,  is  some- 
times used  for  pockets,  thus,  "  Hands  out  of 
beckets,  sir !  " 

To  becket  the  helm. — To  lash  down  the  tiller 
of  a  boat  so  that  it  may  not  sway  about  when 
she  is  at  anchor,  or  at  her  moorings.  (See  also 
Lash  the  Tiller.) 

Becueing. — A  method  of  attaching  a  line 
to  a  small  anchor  or  grapnel,  so  that  in  case 
the  grapnel  should  become  fixed  under  some 
rock,  a  strong  pull  will  break  the  seizing 
(called  the  stopper),  and  enable  the  flukes 
to  be  drawn  upwards.  The  manner  in  which 
this  becueing  is  done  will  best  be  understood  by  reference  to  the 
engraving.  It  is  much  employed  by  crabmenand  others  wrorking  on 
rocky  parts  of  the  coast. 

Bed  of  the  bowsprit. — That  part  of  the  beak  of  a  large 
vessel,  or  the  deck  on  a  small  one,  in  which  the  lower  part  of  the 
bowsprit  lies. 

Bees. — Pieces  of  plank  bolted  to  the  upper  end  of  the  bowsprit 
in  a  large  vessel. 

Before. — Forward,  or  in  front  of;  more  usually  expressed 
a? fore. 

Before  the  mast. — The  lodgment  of  working  seamen  on  ship- 
board, as  distinguisliing  them  from  the  officers,  who  lodge  aft. 
Hence  a  man  who  goes  as  seaman  is  said  to  go  before  the  mast. 

Belay. — To  make  fast  a  rope  (that  rope  being,  generally,  part 
of  the  limning  rigging,  as  a  fall),  by  twisting  it  round  (in  the 
manner  of  a  figure  of  8)  a  cleat,  kevel  or  belaying -pin,  without  tyin-- 
it  into  a  knot. 



Belaying  pin. — A  pin  or  bolt  of  wood,  galvanised  iron,  or  of  gun 
metal,  placed  in  a  convenient  spot  for  the  belaying  of  a  halyard. 
In  sailing  ships  the  principal  belaying  pins  are  just  by  the  shrouds, 
as  all  halyards  lead  here,  but  in  small  fore-and-aft  rigged  vessels 
they  are  placed  around  the  masts. 

Bellows. — A  fresh  hand  at  the  bellows. — An  expression  often 
made  use  of  to  express  that  the  wind  has  become  fresher. 

Bells. — On  shipboard,  bells  express  the  time,  and  are  struck  by  the 
officer  of  the  watch.  The  bells  are  struck  every  half-hour.  The 
day  of  12  hours  is  divided  into  three,  thus  : — 1.  Noon  to  four  o'clock. 
2.  Four  o'clock  to  eight  o'clock.  3.  Eight  o'clock  to  midnight — 
and  the  same  at  night.  Thus  in  every  tour  hours  there  will  be  8 
bells — viz.,  at  noon,  four  o'clock,  eight  o'clock,  and  midnight;  but 
in  the  dog  watches,  these  being  only  of  two  hours'  duration  each, 
there  will  be  but  4  bells. 

Fog  bells. — Eveiy  sailing  ship  and  steam  vessel  is  obliged  to  supply 
itself  with  a  bell,  called  the  fog  bell,  to  be  sounded  while  the  ship 
lies  at  anchor  in  a  fog,  at  intervals  of  not  less  than  two  minutes. 

Bell  buoys. — Buoys  placed  at  the  entrance  to  certain  harbours 
to  mark  the  bar,  or  some  shoal,  and  furnished  with  a  bell. 

Belly  (of  sails).—  (See  Bunt.) 

Belly  bands  (of  sails). — Strips  or  bands  of  canvas  sewed  across 
large  sails  about  half  way  between  the  close- reef  and  the  foot,  to 
prevent  them  from  bellying  ;  for  it  is  found  that ,  after  a  time,  all  sails 
will  belly,  partly  on  account  of  the  canvas  stretching,  but  mainly 
because  the  edges,  being  strengthened  with  extra  stuff  and  bolt 
ropes,  are  stiffer  than  the  bunt. 

Belly  guy. — A  guy  (rope)  or  support  in  the  middle,  or  belly  of 

Below. — Low  down  ;  below  deck  ;  or  under  water. 

Benches.— The  after  thwarts,  or  seats,  in  large  open  boats  are 
sometimes  called  the  benches,  and  those  extending  along  the  sides, 

Bend. — 1.  (Of  a  rope). — The  bent  portion  (see  Bight),  and  hence 
the  name  of  a  knot,  as  the  carrick  bend,  common  bend,  etc. 
(See  KNOTS).  From  this — To  bend  becomes  a  general  sea  term  for 
fastening  anything,  as  to  bend  one  rope  to  another,  a  sail  to  a  yard 
or  gaff,  the  anchor  to  its  cable,  etc. 

2.  To  bend  (in  sailing)  is  to  lie  over  under  press  of  canvas. 

Bends  or  wales,  in  ship  building,  are  the  thickest  planks  in  the  sides 
of  a  wooden  ship,  giving  to  it  its  chief  strength.  They  are  reckoned 
from  the  water  upwards,  being  distinguished  as  the  first,  second  or  third 
bend,  and  they  have  the  beams  and  upper  f  idiocies  bolted  to  them. 

Bent  timbers  or  bent  heads. — These,  in  a  small  boat,  correspond 
to  the  ribs  in  a  larger  vessel.     Each  is  usually  of  one  piece,  steamed 

|  lient  into  the  shape  of  the  boat ;  and  the  strakes  (or  planking) 
^ured  to  them.    They  are  also  called  heads,  meaning  bent-heads. 


18  A    DICTIONAEY   OF    SEA    TERMS. 

Bent  on  a  splice. — A  sailor's  manner  of  expressing  that  some  person 
is  bent  upon  getting  married. 

Beneap. — If  a  vessel  should  run  aground  towards  high  water, 
during  the  last  of  the  spring,  or  big  tides,  she  may  possibly  have  to 
lie  there  until  the  following  spring  tides  float  her  off  :  in  this  con- 
dition she  is  said  to  be  beneaped,  because  the  neap  tides  are  not  high 
enough  to  float  her.  The  situation  may  be  serious,  since,  during  a 
whole  fortnight,  there  is  time  for  any  changes  in  the  weather,  and  in 
the  event  of  a  gale  rising,  the  vessel  might  become  a  wreck.  No 
vessel  will  allow  herself,  therefore,  to  become  beneaped,  if  by  any 
means  she  can  be  got  off. 

Bermuda  rig. — This  rig  is  not  common,  but  has,  at  times,  been 
made  use  of  for  small  yachts,  when  it  consists  of  two  or  three  raking 
pole  masts,  each  cariying  a  gaff  sail,  and,  as  headsail,  a  large  jib. 
It  is  a  pretty  rig,  and  fast ;  but  cannot  compare  in  either  with  the 
schooner.  The  origin  of  the  rig  may  be  found  in  those  "  three- 
masted  schooners  built  at  Bermuda  during  the  war  of  1814.  They 
went  through  the  waves  without  rising  to  them,  and  consequently 
were  too  ticklish  for  northern  stations."  (Smyth.)  (See  also  under 

Berth. — On  ship  board,  a  cabin.  Sometimes  a  bed,  or  any  space  for 
the  swinging  of  a  hammock,  is  so  called.  A  ship's  berth  is  the  place 
in  which  she  lies,  or  is  anchored  ;  thus,  with  good  anchorage  and  in  a 
sheltered  situation,  she  is  said  to  have  come  to  a  comfortable  berth. 
Berth. — A  position  or  employment  to  be  secured,  in  Avhich  case 
the  term  becomes  synonymous  with  the  word  billet. 

Best. — Best  and  best,  best  boat. — The  expression  "  best  and 
best  "  is  often  met  with  in  reports  of  sculling  matches  about  to  be 
arranged— the  competitors  agreeing  to  row  a  match  in  best  and  best 
boats.  This  actually  implies  that  each  may  choose  the  best  boat  he 
can  find  ;  and  as  it  is  customary  to  have  special  boats  built  for  the 
occasion,  on  the  most  approved  principles,  these  have  become 
known  as  best  boats.  They  may  also  be  called  wager  boats,  because 
wagers  are  usually  laid  on  the  result  of  the  race.  A  best  boat  is, 
then,  a  racing  boat  of  the  most  approved  type.  It  is  of  the  lightest 
possible  material,  very  long  and  very  narrow,  with  only  just  the 
room,  in  fact,  in  which  a  man  can  sit.  It  has  no  keel,  being  often 
semi-circular  in  section,  and  fitted  with  a  small  fin  some  way  aft 
of  the  sculler  which  takes  the  place  of  keel;  and  the  interior, 
except  where  the  sculler  sits,  is  covered  in  by  oiled  silk.  It  is  fitted 
with  sliding  seats  and  long  outriggers,  and  the  well  protected  by  a 
wash-board,  or  coaming,  some  inches  in  height.  The  whole  thing 
sometimes  weighs  no  more  than  17  lbs.  These  boats,  it  may  well  be 
imagined,  are  only  suited  to  smooth  waters,  though  it  is  astonishing 
to  see  what  waves  they  will  sometimes  live  through.  It  is  no  un- 
common occurrence,  however,  for  them  to  be  swamped,  and  to  render 
them  less  liable  to  such  an  accident  an  invention  has  lately  been 
brought  out,  the  principle  of  which  is  to  cover  them  entirely  in, 

A    DICTIONARY   OP    SEA    TERMS.  19 

placing  the  sculler  on  the  top.  The  principal,  among  other  objections, 
to  this  method  is  that  the  sculler,  being  placed  very  high  up,  offers 
considerably  more  resistance  to  the  wind  than  when  low  down.  It 
remains  to  be  seen  whether  this  departure  will  materially  influence 
the  designs  of  future  racing  boats. 

Between  decks,  or  'tween  decks. — In  a  vessel  of  more  than 
one  deck,  to  be  between  the  upper  and  the  lower. 

Betwixt  wind  and  water. — About  the  load  water  line.  A 
vulnerable  point  in  which  to  be  struck,  and  hence  its  use  in  every- 
day conversation. 

Bibbs. — Brackets  or  bolsters  near  the  head  of  a  mast  upon  which 
rest  the  trestle-trees.  Bibbs  are  also  called  hounds.  (See  fig.  under 
Mast.  ) 

Big  topsail.— (See  Topsails.) 

Bight  (Saxon,  bygan,  to  bend:  prefer  per  feet  bent). — 1.  Of  a  rope. 
The  double  part  when  it  is  folded,  in  contradistinction  to  the  end. 
It  is,  in  fact,  the  bend  or  loop  in  a  rope  (see  Knots)  :  hence  the 
origin  of  the  term  "to  bend  on."  (See  Bend.)  2.  Bight.  A  small 
inlet  or  bay  on  the  line  of  a  coast,  or  in  the  bank  of  a  river. 

Bilge  (often  pronounced  billldge). — The  bilge  is  the  lower  part 
of  a  vessel,  upon  which  she  rests  when  aground. 

Bilge  boards. — (See  Floor  boards  under  Floor.) 

Bilge  pieces,  or  bilge  keels,  are  strips  fitted  like  keels  on  the  out- 
side of  the  bilges,  and  serving  both  as  a  cradle  for  her  to  rest  upon, 
and,  to  a  certain  extent,  as  keels  when  she  careens  over  in  sailing. 
In  steamers  they  minimise  the  rolling.     (See  diagram  under  Frame.  ) 

Bilge  water. — The  water  that  collects  in  the  bottom  of  a  vessel. 
It  is  said  on  board  ship  that  when  the  bilge  water  pumps  up  clear, 
the  vessel  is  leaky,  while  in  a  tight  ship  it  comes  up  black  and 
smelling.  From  this  we  have  the  popular  expression,  'as  foul  as 
bilge  water."  A  little  water  is  generally  allowed  to  remain  at  the 
bottom  of  open  boats  for  the  purpose  of  keeping  their  lower  boards 
swelled  ;  but  this  cannot  be  looked  upon  as  bilge  water. 

Bilge  ways. — The  timbers  upon  which  a  vessel  is  launched. 

Bill  (of  an  anchor). — The  extremity  of  the  fluke.     (See  Anchor.) 

Bill  of  health. — "  A  certificate  or  instrument,  signed  by  proper 
authorities,  delivered  to  the  masters  of  ships  at  the  time  of  their 
clearing  out  from  all  ports  or  places  suspected  of  being  infected 
by  particular  disorders,  certifying  the  state  of  health  at  the  time 
that  such  ship  sailed.  Bills  of  health  are  of  three  kinds — clean, 
foul,  and  suspected,  which  are  self-explanatory  terms."  (Brande 
and  Cox.) 

Bill  of  lading. — "A  document,  subscribed  by  the  master  of  a  ship, 
acknowledging  the  receipt  of  goods  intrusted  to  him  for  trans- 
portation, and  binding  himself  (under  certain  exceptions)  to  deliver 
them  to  the  person  to  whom  they  are  addressed,  in  good  condition, 
for  a  certain  remuneration  or  freightage.  Of  bills  of  lading  there 
are  usually  triplicate  copies :  one  for  the  party  transmitting  the 

'  o  2 



goods,  another  for  the  person  to   whom  the  goods   are   addressed, 
and  the  third  for  the  master."     (Brande  and  Cox.) 

Billander. — "  A  small  merchant  vessel,  with  two  masts.  It  is 
particularly  distinguished  from  other  vessels  of  two  masts  hy  the  form 
of  her  mainsail,  which  is  bent  to  the  whole  length  of  a  yard  hanging 
fore  and  aft,  and  inclined  to  the  horizontal  in  an  angle  of  about  45 
degrees,  and  hanging  immediately  over  the  stern,  while  the  fore 
end  slopes  downward,  and  comes  as  far  forward  as  the  middle  of 
the  ship ;  the  foremost  lower  corner,  called  the  tack,  being  secured 
to  a  ring-bolt  in  the  deck,  and  the  aft- 
most,  or  sheet,  to  another  in  the  taffrail. 
At  present  there  are  few  vessels  of  this 
description."  (Falconer's  Dictionary.) 
The  vessel  has  now  become  extinct. 

Bill  board. — On  ships,  a  support  upon 
which  the  bills,  or  flukes,  of  the  anchor 
rest  when  it  is  on  deck. 

Billet. — -A  berth  or  position  to  be 
secured.  The  origin  of  the  term  is  prob- 
ably connected  with  the  "billet"  or  letter 
introducing  one  person  to  another. 

Billyboy. — A  class  of  coasting  vessels 
sailing  from  the  Humber  ports,  from  which 
circumstance  they  are  frequently  called 
Yorkshire  billyboys.  The  old  billyboy 
was  built  with  round  and  bluff  stem 
and  stern,  and  presented  that  which  may 
be  called  a  Dutch  appearance.  It  was  usually  ketch  rigged, 
carrying  square  sail,  occasionally  a  square  topsail,  and  sometimes, 
even,  a  mizzen  staysail.  But  it  was  also  rigged  otherwise,  as 
schooner  or  brigantine.     These  vessels  are  still  to  be  seen. 

Bind. — To  wind  around,  as  binding  the  end  of  a  rope  with  yarn. 
Also  an  iron  band,  as  the  binding  of  a  dead-eye. 

Binnacle. — The  fixed  case  and  stand  in  which  the  steering 
compass  in  any  vessel  is  set. 

Bite. — Spoken  of  an  anchor  when  it  holds  the  ground — it  then 
bites.     (This  must  not  be  confounded  with  the  word  Bight.) 

Bitts. — Small  posts  or  timber  heads  fixed  through  the  deck  of  a 
vessel,  either  round  masts  or  at  the  foot  of  the  bowsprit.  There  are 
various  bitts  in  a  ship,  but  in  small  craft  the  term  is  generally  under- 
stood to  mean  the  bowsprit  bitts,  which  support  the  stock  of  the  bow- 
sprit and  frequently  serve  as  kevels,  or  cleats,  around  which  to  "  bitt " 
or  wind  the  cable,  so  that  it  shall  remain  fast.  (See  fig.  under  Bow- 
SPEIT.)  In  large  vessels  we  find  riding  bitts,  which  are  stout  heads 
rising  considerably  from  the  deck  expressly  for  the  purpose  of 
"  bitting  "  the  cable. 

To  bitt  the  cable.— To  put  it  round  the  bitts  in  order  to  fasten  it 
or  slacken  it  gradually,  which  last  is  called  veering  away. 


A    DICTIONABY   OP    SEA    TEEMS.  21 

Bitter. — A  ship  stopped  by  her  cable  is  said  to  be  brought  up  to  a 

Bitter  end. — That  part  of  a  vessel  just  abaft  the  bitts. 

Blacklead. — The  bottom  of  a  racing  yacht  is  sometimes  payed 
with  (rubbed  over  with)  blacklead  to  reduce  the  friction  of  the  water 
with  the  hull. 

Black-strake. — The  strake  on  a  vessel's  side  which  is  made 
black.  "  A  range  of  planks  immediately  above  the  wales  in  a  ship's 
.side  ;  they  are  always  covered  with  a  mixture  of  tar  and  lamp-black, 
which  preserves  the  plank  itself  and  forms  an  agreeable  variety  with 
the  white  bottom  beneath,  and  the  scraped  planks  of  the  side, 
covered  with  melted  turpentine,  or  varnish  of  pine,  alone." 

Blackwall  hitch. — A  hitch  (or  half-knot)  for  loosely  attaching 
a  rope  to  a  hook.     (See  KNOTS.) 

Blade. — The  flat  part  of  an  oar,  scull,  or  sweep ;  also  of  a 
paddle,  though  this  last  is  more  properly  called  the  fan. 

Bleed  the  monkey. — To  steal  from  the  grog  kid. 

Blind-pulley. — A  hole  or  block  without  a  sheave  in  it.  (nee 

Block. — The  instrument  generally  described  on  shore  as  a 
"  pulley ;"  but  this  latter  term  has  little  or  no  meaning  among  sea- 
faring men,  who  invariably  speak  of  a  block.  When  two  or  more 
blocks  are  employed  to  move  a  single  weight,  they,  with  their  ropes, 
constitute  a  tackle.  (See  Tackle.)  A  block  is  a  machine  made  up 
of  several  parts,  and  with  the  utmost  nicety ;  and  it  may  be 
regarded  as  among  the  most  important  parts  of  a  vessel's  rigging.  The 
parts  are  as  follows  (see  fig.)  : — Tbe  block  is  the  piece  (or  block)  of 
wood  which  constitutes  the  main  body  of  the  machine.  The  shell  is 
the  outside  casing,  the  upper  portion  of  which  is  called  the  head.  This 
shell  consists  of  two  parts  which  encase  the  block  and  which  are 
bound  together,  or  seized,  with  a  band  called  a  strop  ;  and  to  prevent 
this  strop  from  slipping  off  they  have  grooves  cut  in  them,  above 
and  below  :  the  grooves  are  called  scores.  The  scores  do  not  meet 
at  the  head  of  the  block,  but  at  the  bottom  they  do,  forming  a  con- 
tinuous groove  called  the  ass.  The  sheave  is  the  wheel  of  the 
pulley,  and  it  fits  into  the  sheave-hole  or  swallow,  which  is  the  slot, 
or  mortise-hole,  cut  through  the  block  to  receive  it.*  Blocks  may 
be  double-sheaved,  triple-sheaved,  or  fourfold-sheaved,  according  to 
the  number  of  sheaves  they  cany.  Sheaves  are  of  some  hard  wood 
(such  as  lignum  vitce)  or  of  metal,  sometimes  of  both  ;  and  they  are 
fitted  with  a  centre-piece  called  the  bouch,  which  travels  upon 
the  axle.  They  are  set  in  the  sheave-hole,  below  the  middle, 
so  as  to  allow  room  for  the  rope  to  run  freely  through.     The  axle 

*  It  has  been  said  that  "  the  wheel  is  frequently,  though  erroneously,  called  the 
sheave."  We  are  unable  to  reconcile  this  either  with  practice  or  with  the  account 
of  terms  used  in  the  manufacture  of  old  blocks  by  Brunei's  block  machinery,  and 
we  therefore  retain  the  old  definition  of  a  sheave. 





has,  or  should  have,  a  square  head.  All  Mocks,  however,  are  not 
furnished  with  sheaves.  Those  usually  employed  in  standing 
rigging  are  blind  or  dead — i.e.,  merely  pierced  with  holes.  Such 
are  deadeyes,  by  whicli  shrouds  are  hauled  taut,  and  blind  pul- 
leys, often  found  on  small  craft,  for  leading  ropes  aft. 

Blocks  are  of  various  descriptions,  according  to  the  uses  to  which 
they  are  turned.  Some  of  them  are  as  follow  : — Gin  block. — An 
iron  block  with  a  hook, 
to  swing  from  a  gin  (a 
hoisting  machine).  Hook 
block. — A  block  to  which 
a  hook  is  attached.  Such 
are  blocks  which  are  at- 
tached to  a  mast  or  any 
other  spar.  Small  iron 
hook  blocks  are  also  used 
on  various  occasions. 
Jewel  block.  —  A  block 
which  may  be  fitted  to 
a  yard-arm.  Such  blocks 
in  a  square  rigged  ship 
take  the  halyards  of  the 
studding  -  sails,  while  in 
fore-and-aft  rig  a  jewel 
block  may  be  fitted  to 
the  end  of  the  gaff  for 
the  flag- halyard.  Snatch 
block.  —  A  block  of  one 
sheave  into  which  the 
bight  of  a  rope  can  be 
slipped.  This  is  useful 
when  the  end  of  a  rope 
cannot  be  got  at.  Tail 
block.  —  A  block  with 
rope  strop,  the  ends  of 
which  are  left  long,  so 
that  they  may  be  tied 
round  anything ;  these 
ends  forming  what  is 
called  the  "tail."  Blind 
pulleys  are  wooden  blocks 

naving  a  hole  pierced  through  them,  but  no  sheave  (above  men- 
tioned). Deadeyes. — Blind  blocks  connecting  shrouds  with  channel 
plates,  and  serving  to  set  up  the  shrouds.  (See  Deadeyes,  under 
Dead.)  The  use  of  iron  blocks  is  becoming  more  common  than 
formerly.  They  are  employed  on  various  occasions,  as,  for  in- 
stance, for  chains;  and  where  they  occur  they  are  often  called 
iron  pulleys. 

To  fleet  blocks  in  a  tackle  is  to  bring  them  down  close  together. 

1T?QN  Puuey 




The  term  has  something  of  an  equivalent  in  chocking  a  Mock,  which 
is  to  haul  one  hlock  down  to  a  rail  or  hook,  or  down  to  another.    To 
strop  a  block  is  to  bind  on  its  strop  (the  band  by  which  it  is  attached 
to  some  other  object,  and   which 
also    holds   the    casing   together). 
Strops  may  be  of  rope  or  iron. 

The  principle  of  the  pulley  is 
a  subject  outside  the  scope  of 
such  a  work  as  the  present ;  it 
will  be  found  fully  explained  in 
any  Avork  on  mechanics.  But  it 
may  not  be  out  of  place  to 
remind  the  reader  that  a  fixed 
block  serves  merely  to  change  the 
direction  of  a  force,  while  with 
one  or  more  movable  blocks  a 
mechanical  advantage  is  obtained. 
This  mechanical  advantage,  or 
"acquisition,"  is  called  the  pur- 
chase, and  hence  it  is  that  the 
rope  upon  which  men  pull  to  lift 
a  weight  is,  in  nautical  phrase- 
ology, called  the  purchase  of  a 
tackle  (a  perfectly  correct  term), 
while  the  tackle  itself  also  often 
goes  by  the  same  name. 

Blocks  are  measured  by  their 
length  over  all,  expressed  in 
inches:    e.g.,  a  6in.   block  is  one 

which  measures  6in.  in  length  over  the  entire  wood-work.  A  block 
is  generally  supposed  to  take  a  rope  of  a  circumference  one-third 
its  length  :  thus  a  6in.  block  will  take  a  2in.  rope  ;  but  the  rule 
is  not  always  followed.  The  best  blocks  are  those  in  which  the 
grain  of  the  wood  runs  diagonally  across  the  flat  surface,  for  then 
they  are  less  liable  to  split,  and  if  they  should  it  will  be  across  the 
strop,  which  will  still  hold  them  together. 

Blockade.  —  In  international  law,  a  prevention  of  exit  or  en- 
trance from  or  to  any  port  of  an  enemy  in  war,  and  an  exclusion 
(under  certain  terms)  of  neutrals. 

Blocksliip. — An  old  naval  term.  A  ship  engaged  in  blockading. 
"  A  large  vessel  employed  on  coast  duty  for  the  protection  of  a 
specified  district. " 

Blow  the  gaff  (old  naval  term).  —  To  inform  against  any 
person  or  persons.     To  let  out  some  secret. 

Blue- — Blue  peter. — The  flag  denoting  the  departure  of  a  vessel, 
hoisted  at  the  fore  part  of  the  rigging,  either  on  the  bowsprit,  fore- 
stay,  etc.     It  is  a  blue  flag,  with  a  white  square  in  centre. 
To  look  blue. — To  look  astonished  or  foolish. 

Fleeting  Blocks. 

24  A    DICTIONAEY   OP    SEA    TEEMS. 

Till  all  is  blue. — Till  the  end  of  all  things. 

To  blue  (probably  "  to  blow,"  or  "  blow  away  "). — To  squander  a 
sum  of  money.     In  other  words  to  make  it  look  blue. 

Bluff.  —  Abrupt.  A  cliff  or  highland  projecting  into  the  sea 
almost  perpendicularly  is  called  a  bluff. 

Bluff-bow,  bluff-head. — A  vessel  is  said  to  be  bluff-bowed  when  she 
has  broad  and  flat  bows,  and  when  her  stem  has  but  little  or  no  rake 
(inclination)  she  may  also  be  called  bluff-headed.  {See  fig.  under 
Square  Stem.) 

Board. — 1.  Board.  An  expression  signifying  the  side  of  a  ship. 
Hence  : — a'board,  inside  or  on  the  ship. 

By  the  board. — Over  the  ship's  side.  Therefore  to  slip  by  the  board 
is  to  slip  down  by  her  side. 

Board  and  board. — An  expression  signifying  that  two  vessels  come 
so  near  each  other  as  to  touch ;  but  it  is  also  used  to  describe  the 
position  of  two  ships  which  lie  side  by  side. 

To  board. — Boarding  is  the  act  of  going  on  board  a  vessel,  but  it 
is  often  understood  to  mean  going  on  board  by  force,  as  in  battle, 
piracy,  or  for  the  purpose  of  arresting  some  person  or  persons  on  board. 

Boarders  (in  old  warfare). — "  Sailors  appointed  to  make  an  attack 
by  boarding,  or  to  repel  such  an  attempt  by  the  enemy." 

Boarding-pike. — A  defensive  weapon  used  by  sailors  in  boarding 
an  enemy's  vessel.  Though  the  practice  of  boarding  an  enemy  has, 
of  course,  become  extinct  since  the  introduction  of  the  modern  type 
of  ship,  yet  the  drill  is  still  kept  up  on  Her  Majesty's  ships. 

Board  in  the  smoke. — To  take  advantage  or  get  the  better  of 
some  person  when  they  are  not  expecting  it.  The  term  is,  of  course, 
derived  from  the  custom,  in  old  warfare,  of  boarding  an  enemy 
when  concealed  by  the  smoke  of  guns. 

2.  Board  (in  sailing)  is  the  distance  a  vessel  travels  between  each 
tack  (that  is,  without  turning),  so  that  to  make  a  good  board  or  stretch 
is  to  travel  straight  and  make  good  progress  against  the  wind ;  to 
make  a  long  hoard,  to  keep  for  a  long  time  on  the  same  tack  ;  to 
make  short  boards,  to  tack  frequently ;  while  to  make  a  stern  board  is  to 
fall  back  again  from  a  point  already  gained,  which  may  be  the  result 
of  a  strong  head  tide  or  any  other  accident.     (See  Stern  Board.  ) 

3.  Board  of  Trade. — The  Committee  of  the  Privy  Council  for  the 
Affairs  of  Trade.  "  The  Board  of  Trade  have  certain  powers  in 
respect  of  passenger  steamers  on  the  Thames  in  common  with  other 
passenger  steamboats,  etc.  This  is  also  the  department  of  the 
Government  to  which,  under  the  Acts  relating  to  the  Conservancy 
Board  and  Trinity  House,  certain  questions  arising  under  these 
Acts  are  referred. " 

Boat.— The  forms  of  boats  are  innumerable.  They  vary  with 
locality,  each  district  giving  its  own  name  as  it  does  its  own  form. 
Reference  must,  therefore,  be  made  under  such  heads  as  Peter- 
boat,  Wager-boat,  etc. 

To  boat,  oars — more  commonly  called  unshipping  oars — is  to  bring 
them  into  the  boat,  generally  after  rowing. 




Boat-hook. — A  most  useful  implement  in  the  form  of  a  hook  or 
spike  at  the  end  of  a  pole.  It  has  an  infinite  number  of  uses,  as  for 
instance,  to  hold  on  to  a  chain  or  rope,  or  a  grassy 
bank ;  to  keep  a  boat's  head  or  stern  away  from  a 
wall;  to  prevent  collision  with  any  other  craft,  etc. ; 
and,  in  a  sailing  boat,  to  pick  up  a  mooring. 
There  are  various  forms  of  boat-hooks.  One  is  a 
mere  spike ;  another  a  hook  and  spike ;  a  third 
a  double  hook.  Sometimes  a  paddle-blade  is 
combined  with  the  boat-hook ;  and  sometimes  for 
sailing  boats,  the  pole  is  marked  in  feet,  and  used 
in  shallow  water  instead  of  the  lead  bine.  A  person 
situated  in  the  middle  of  a  boat  has  more  power  to 
keep  her  straight  with  the  boat-hook  than  if  he 
were  in  the  bow  or  stem.  Seated  amidships  he  can, 
by  thrusting  out  the  stern  of  the  boat,  get  her  head 
in,  or,  by  pulling  on  the  stem,  get  her  away  from 
any  object. 

Boat-sJcids  "  are  long  square  pieces  of  fir,  extend- 
ing across  the  ship  from  the  gang-board,  and  on 
which  the  boats,  spare  masts,  etc.,  are  laid."  (Fal- 
coner's Diction  aiy.) 

Boatswain  (pronounced  bo'sun). — "The  second  of 
the  three  warrant  officers  of  a  man-of-war  ;  he  has 
charge  of  the  boats,  rigging,  anchors,  and  cables.  It  is  his  duty 
to  turn  the  hands  up,  or  summon  the  whole  crew,  whenever  they 
are  required  for  duty.  He  should,  from  the  nature  of  his  duties, 
be  an  active  man,  and  a  thorough  seaman.  The  boatswain's  mates 
assist  the  boatswain,  summon  the  watches  or  other  portions  of  the 
crew  to  duty,  and  inflict  punishments."     (Brande  and  Cox,  1865.) 

Bob-stay. — A  stay  (or  rope)  made  fast  to  the  stem  post  of  a 
boat,  at  the  cutwater,  and  leading  to  the  nose  of  the  bowsprit, 
where  it  is  taken  up  by  a  tackle  sometimes  called  the  bob-stay 
purchase.  The  bob-stay  fall  {i.e.,  the  rope  leading  from  the 
tackle)  serves  to  taughten  the  bob-stay ;  it  leads  inboard  along 
the  bowsprit  and,  in  boats,  belays  to  the  bowsprit  bitts.  The 
act  of  hauling  on  this  purchase  is  called  bowsing  down  the  bow- 
sprit. (See  diagram  under  Bowsprit.)  The  bob-stay  may  be  of 
rope,  wire-rope,  or  of  chain.  To  it,  in  small  craft,  about  one- 
third  of  its  length  from  the  stem,  is  generally  attached  a  rope 
leading  on  deck.  This  is  the  bob-stay  tricing- line :  its  use  is  to 
trice  up  the  bob-stay  when  at  anchor — i.e.,  to  pull  it  up  close  to 
the  stem-post,  so  as  to  prevent  its  chafing  against  the  anchor  or 
mooring  chain.  The  office  of  the  bob-stay  is  to  prevent  the  bowsprit 
from  topping  up.  It  acts  in  opposition  to  the  fore  or  fore  topmast 
stays,  and  takes  much  of  the  strain  of  the  head  sails.  It  is  not  un- 
usual, in  yacht  racing,  to  hear  of  its  breaking  ;  such  an  accident  is 
fatal,  as  without  a  bob-stay  the  whole  forward  gear  of  the  boat  might 
be  carried  away,  and  the  time  required  to  rig  a  new  one  would  upset 




any  chance  she  might  have.    The  yacht  Ailsa  broke  her  bob-stay  "at 
the  start  of  the  Royal  Harwich  Yacht  Club  Ocean  Match  in  1895, 
and  was  immediately  brought  to  and 
taken  back  to  Gravesend. 

Body.  —  The  hull  of  a  vessel, 
without  fitting  s. 

Body-plan.     (See  Line.) 

Bollards. — An  old  name,  though 
one  still  in  use,  for  those  posts  of 
timber  frequently  seen  on  the  sides 
of  docks,  quays,  piers,  etc.,  on 
which  hawsers  or  springs  (ropes)  are 
thrown  for  hauling  vessels  alongside. 

Bollard  timbers. — Otherwise  called 
knight-heads  [which  see). 

Bollocks. — Blocks  secured  to  the  middle  of  the  topsail  yards 
in  large  ships ;  the  topsail  ties  pass  through  them,  and  thereby 
gain  an  increase  of  power  in  lifting  the  yards. 

Bolster. — Generally  speaking,  a  pad ;  often  a  piece  of  timber, 
either  used  to  "  bolster  up  "  anything  requiring  slight  alteration 
or  support,  or  upon  masts,  to  bear  some  part  of  the  standing 
rigging.  Thus  the  brackets  on  a  mast  which  support  the  trestle 
trees,  or  those  carrying  shrouds  or  stays,  are  called  bolsters  or  bibbs. 

Bolt. — The  appearance  of  a  bolt  is  well  known  to  everyone,  whether 
ashore  or  afloat ;  it  is  a  short  rod,  usually  of  iron  or  other  metal 
(though  occasionally  of  wood,  when  it  is  known  as  a  trennel),  hold- 
ing two  members  together.  On  shipboard  there  are  various  bolts, 
besides  those  which  hold  the  timbers ;  as,  for  instance — bolt-eyes, 
or  screw-eyes  (sometimes  called  eye-bolts),  the  heads  of  which  form 
an  eye,  and  which  may  be  screwed  into  almost  any  part  of  a  boat 
to  lead  ropes  through  or  to  make  them  fast ;  ring-bolls,  into  the 
heads  of  which  are  fitted  a  loose  ring.   [See  also  under  these  headings. ) 

Bolt-ropes. — The  ropes  along  the  borders  or  edges  of  a  sail,  for 
the  purpose  of  strengthening  those  parts.  Each  bolt-rope  takes  its 
name  from  its  position  on  a  sail ;  thus  there  are  the  head,  the  foot 
and  the  leach  ropes.     [Set  Sail.) 

Bonnet. — An  additional  part  made  to  fasten  with  latchings  or 
laskets  to  the  foot  of  the  sails  of  small  vessels  in  moderate  winds.  It  is 
exactly  similar  to  the  foot 
of  the  sail  it  is  intended  for. 
Buttons  are  also  sometimes 
used  in  fastening  it  Bon- 
nets, may  be  seen  inconstant 
use  in  the  wherries  of  Nor- 
folk and  Suffolk  (see  fig.  1 
under  Noef  OLK  Wherry)  , 
also  in  some  of  the  Cornish 
fishing-craft.     They  were  al?o  originally  employe:!  on  square  sails. 

Booby  Hatch. 



Booby  hatch. — A  raised  cabin  head  -with  sliding  hatch.  (See  fig .) 
Boom. — A  boom  is  a  pole  extending  outboard  (i.e. , outwards  from  a 
vessel)  ;  and  from  this,  anything  extending  outwards  is  said  to  be 
boomed  out,  as  a  lug  sail,  which  may  be  described  as  boomed  out  if 
only  held  outward  by  an  oar ;  and  the  shrouds  of  a  bowsprit,  which  are 
said  to  be  boomed  out  on  its  whiskers.  Sail  booms  take  their  names 
from  the  sails  they  extend,  as  the  main,  mizzen,  or  spinnaker  booms. 
They  constitute  the  only  means  whereby  such  sails  can  be  taken 
beyond  the  sides,  or  taffrail ;  and  they  moreover  help  to  stand  the 
sails  flat.  As  an  example,  for  the  fittings  of  a  boom  we  may  take 
that  of  the  mainsail  of  a  cutter.      It  is  held  to  the  mast  either  by  a 


J'oint  called  the  gooseneck  and  shaffle  (ivhich  sec),  or,  otherwise,  it 
las  jaws  which  partially  encircle  the  mast,  these  jaws  resting  on  a 
stout  ring  round  the  lower  portion  of  the  mast,  called  the  saddle  or 
bolster.  The  entire  fitting  constitutes  that  which  is  known  as  the 
boom  stays.  At  the  after  end  of  the  boom  is  generally  to  be  found 
a  member  known  as  the  clamp  or  cleat.  This  consists  of  a  flat  piece 
projecting  on  each  side  and  perforated  with  various  holes  :  it  forms 
a  sort  of  cleat,  through  the  holes  of  which  the  reef  pendants  can  be 
passed  and  tied  down  when  the  sail  is  reefed.  This  clamp  is  some- 
times, however,  dispensed  with,  and  a  traveller,  or  an  outhaul,  used 
in  its  place.  Over  the  end  of  the  boom  the  grommet  of  the  topping- 
lift  is  passed ;  this  latter  is  a  rope  used  for  lifting,  or  topping,  the 
boom  when  taking  in  a  reef,  or  tricing  up  the  sail,  it  being  necessary 

28  A    DICTIONARY   OF    SEA    TERMS. 

at  such  times  to  take  the  weight  of  the  boom  off  the  halyards.  The 
boom  rests,  when  the  boat  is  at  anchor,  on  a  crutch — sometimes  called 
a  mitehboard — which  may  be  either  a  simple  pair  of  trestle  legs,  or, 
in  the  latter  case,  a  flat  board  with  a  half  circle  cut  out  of  the  top, 
this  also  being  to  take  the  weight  of  the  spar.  (See  CRUTCH.) 
And  it  is  usually  covered,  when  the  sail  is  furled,  by  a  water-proof 
sail  cloth,  which  encloses  boom,  sail,  and  gaff — the  gaff-halyards 
being  unshackled  and  attached  to  slings  which  pass  under  the  boom. 
(See  under  Sling.)  The  tendency  of  a  boom  being  to  bend  upwards 
it  is  made  somewhat  thicker  in  the  middle  than  at  the  ends.  In  large 
racing  yachts  the  mainsail  is  laced  to  the  boom  ;  but  in  cruisers  the 
foot  is  generally  tacked  down  at  each  end  and,  if  fastened  to  the 
boom  at  all,  merely  lashed  to  it  by  short  ropes,  so  as  to  be  readily 
let  go.  A  boom  is  not  a  necessaiy  adjunct  to  the  mainsail  of  a 
single-masted  boat.  Many,  more  especially  fishing  craft,  cany 
sails  which  merely  hang  from  the  gaff,  and  may  be  brailed  up  by  a 
clew-line,  at  any  moment :  these  sails  are  called  trysails,  and  are 
sometimes  rigged  to  yachts  for  winter  work ;  the  fact  that  they 
are  without  the  boom  rendering  them  very  handy  in  variable  weather. 
Other  booms,  apart  from  the  main,  are  as  follow  : — 

Spinnaker  boom. — A  very  long  and  light  spar,  often  longer  than 
the  lower  mast,  which  extends  a  spinnaker — i.e.,  a  racing  sail,  set, 
when  running  before  the  wind,  on  the  side  opposite  to  that  on 
which  the  mainsail  stands.  When  no  longer  in  use,  this  boom  is 
usually  topped  up  to  the  mast,  or,  being  ran  out  forward  of  the 
shrouds,  it  may  be  laid  forward  by  the  bowsprit. 

Licg  sail  boom. — The  lower  yard  of  a  balance-lug  is  called  the 

Jigger-boom. — The  bumpkin  which,  in  yawls,  is  often  set  out  and 
fixed  beyond  the  taffrail  is  sometimes  known  as  the  jigger-boom. 

Boomkin  (pronounced  and  often  written  "bumpkin"). — This  is 
a  small  boom,  usually  fixed,  and  serving  to  work  a  sail  extending 
beyond  the  taffrail  of  a  boat.  If  very  small  it  may  be  called  a 

A  jib-boom  is  a  species  of  extra  bowsprit  supported  by  and  ex- 
tended beyond  that  spar  :  it  is  only  found  on  large  yachts,  and 
not  often  there  ;  belonging,  mostly,  to  trading  vessels. 

A  jiying  jib-boom  is  a  prolongation  of  the  jib-boom,  carrying 
a  flying  jib  :  it  belongs  only  to  large  vessels. 

A  sprit,  which  passes  diagonally  across  a  fore  and  aft  sail,  is  not  a 
boom  ;  nor  must  it  be  confounded  with  it,  as  the  office  of  each  is 
very  different  from  the  other.     (See  Sprit.) 

Boom  foresail  (in  a  schooner). — The  foresail ;  that  is  the  gaff 
sail  on  the  foremast.  (See  SCHOONER.)  It  is  so  called  because 
it  carries  a  boom,  but  principally  to  distinguish  it  from  the  fore 
stay-sail,  which  is  often  called  the  foresail.  (See  under  FORE.) 
On  occasions  we  hear  seamen  speak  of  "  the  two  mainsails "  or 
"  both  mainsails "  of  a  schooner,  meaning  the  mainsail  and  the 
boom  foresail. 

A    DICTIONARY   OP    SEA    TERMS.  29 

Boom-iron  (in  ships).  —  An  iron  implement  composed  of  two 
rings,  formed  into  one  piece,  so  as  nearly  to  resemble  the  figure  8. 
It  is  employed  to  connect  two  cylindrical  pieces  of  wood  together, 
such  as  the  jib-boom  to  the  bowsprit,  studding  sail  booms  to  the 
yards,  etc. 

Boom  square  sail. — In  old  vessels  one  of  the  courses  (usually 
the  fore-course),  the  foot  of  which  is  extended  on  a  boom  so  that  it 
may  be  topped  over  the  fore  or  main  stay  when  the  ship  comes 

Boom-stays. — The  fittings  of  a  boom  to  its  mast.  They  may 
consist  either  of  a  snaffle  and  gooseneck  joint,  or  of  a  saddle  for  the 
jaws  of  the  boom,  when  it  has  them.  {See  Gooseneck  AND 

Boot-topping. — Scraping  a  ship's  bottom  and  paying  it  over 
with  a  mixture  or  tallow,  sulphur,  resin,  etc. 

Bore. — "  A  word  used  to  express  the  sudden  rise  of  the  tide  in 
certain  estuaries,  as  in  the  Severn." 

To  bore. — When  down  by  the  head  a  vessel  is  said  to  bore. 

Both,  sheets  aft. — An  expression  used  with  respect  to  a  square 
rigged  vessel,  signifying  that  she  is  running  before  the  wind,  in 
doing  which  the  sheets  of  her  square  sails  will  be  drawn  aft  equally. 

Bottom. — Of  a  ship,  that  part  of  her  which  is  under  the  water 
line.  As  used  by  commercial  men,  the  term  sometimes  refers  to 
the  ship  itself,  as,  for  instance,  in  the  phrase,  "  a  trade  in  foreign 
bottoms. " 

Bottomry. — A  term  in  commercial  law  referring  to  the  letting 
or  mortgaging  of  ships.     (See  also  RESPONDENTIA. ) 

Bound. — Tightly  held  (of  a  ship). 

Outward  bound. — Leaving  home. 

Homeward  bound. — Returning  home. 

Tide  bound. — Unable  to  make  progress  because  of  a 
head  tide. 

Wind  bound. — At  anchor  because  unable  to  make 
progress  in  consequence  of  contrary  winds. 

Bow  (Bows  of  a  ship).  —  The  sides  at  the 
fore-part  of  a  vessel,  distinguished  one  from  the 
other  by  the  right  and  left  hand,  the  first  being 
the  starboard-bow,  the  second  the  port-bow  (fig.  1). 

(In  rowing)  Bow. — The  headmost  rower  (nearest 
the  bow)  :  lie  is  No.  1  (fig.  2).  All  the  rowers  count 
from  him  ;  thus,  the  composition  of  an  eight-oar  boat 
will  be  as  follows  -.—Bow  (1),  2,  3,  4,  5,  6,  7,  stroke  (8),  cox- 
swain. In  pair-oar  or  double-sculling  the  rowers  are  known  as 
bow  and  stroke,  and  their  oars  are  numbered  1  and  2. 

Bow  side. — The  side  upon  which  the  bow-man  puts  out  his  oar  j 
that  is  on  his  left-hand  side.  The  terms  starboard  and  port  are 
never  used  in  rowing,  the  bow-side  and  stroke-side  being  spoken  of 
instead.     The  bow-side  is  therefore  the  starboard  side. 



Bow  -  board,  in  a  pleasure  skiff. — A 
board  fitting  the  bows  of  a  boat  and 
forming  a  back  upon  which  a  person  may 

Bowline.~(See  Bowline.) 

Bow  -  sprit  (anciently  bolt  -  spi-it). — 
One  of  the  main  spars  in  a  vessel.  It 
is  a  pole  or  "  sprit  "  projecting  forward 
from  the  stem  and  taking  the  forestays 
and  bobstays.  Its  office  is  to  enable  a 
vessel  to  carry  an  increased  spread  of 
canvas  in  the  form  of  head-sails,  and  to 
furnish  a  forward  support  to  the  top- 
mast, though  this  latter  object  could 
actually  be  obtained  without  its  use. 
The  methods  of  fitting  a  bowsprit  and 
keeping  it  in  place  are  as  follow:  Some 
little  distance  aft  of  the  stempost  and 
on  the  deck  of  the  vessel  are  fitted  two 
stout  timber  heads  called  the  bowsprit 
bitts ;  between  these  bitts  the  boAvsprit 
is  stepped  (or  placed).  It  is  kept  from 
rising  by  a  cross  piece  called  the  cross- 
bitt,  and  from  sliding  inwards  by  a  fid  at  the  heel.  At 
the  stem  are  the  Jcrdghtheads,  and  the  bowsprit  runs  between 
these  also,  and  in  large  vessels  is  supported  by  them.  But 
in   small   craft   the    bowsprit    lies    on    the    deck    and    does    not 




— V\ 




_       7 

C8)  STROKf 

Fig.  2.— Rowing. 


A.  Cranse-iron. 

B.  Topmast  forestay. 

C.  Bobstay  purchase. 

D.  Bobstay. 

E.  Rising  line: 

F.  Bowsprit  shrouds. 

G.    Bobstay  fall. 

H.  Gammoning  iron. 

J.    Knighthead. 

K.  Crossbitt. 

L.    Traveller  with  jib  outhaul. 

require  the  support  of  the  knightheads,  which  are,  therefore, 
of  a  different  form.  (See  under  Knightheads.  )  The  bow- 
sprit must,  nevertheless,  have  some  support  at  the  stem,  and 
tins  is  obtained  by  a  stout  ring,  called  the  gammoning-iron, 
through  which  it  is  passed ;   this  gammoning  iron  is  usually  bolted 

A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  31 

to  the  stem  on  its  port,  or  left-hand  side.  The  bowsprit,  like  the 
mast,  requires  staifing,  for  it  has  to  sustain  almost  as  great  a  strain. 
At  its  forward  end  it  is  fitted  with  a  metal  cap,  called  the  cranse- 
iron,  which  is  made  with  several  rings  upon  it  to  take  the  standing 
ends  of  the  stays.  The  most  important  of  these  is  the  bob-stay,  for 
it  holds  the  bowsprit  down  against  the  strain  of  the  topmast-fore- 
stay,  which  leads  from  the  topmast  head  to  the  nose  of  the  bowsprit. 
Laterally,  the  bowsprit  is  stayed  by  shrouds,  and  if  the  boat  is  very 
narrow  or  the  spar  very  long,  these  bowsprit-shrouds  are  boomed 
out — i.e.,  extended  on  small  cross-trees  called  whiskers  (which  see). 
The  shrouds  lead  to  the  bows  and  are  set  up  (or  tightened)  by  means 
of  a  purchase,  which  leads  in  board,  or  in  small  boats  sometimes  by 
screw-tighteners.  The  angle  which  the  bowsprit  of  a  ship  makes  with 
the  horizontal  is  called  the  steeve  ;  this  is  seldom  seen  in  small  craft. 
The  act  of  hauling  it  inboard  is  called  reeving  it,  and  that  of  haul- 
ing on  the  bobstay  to  tighten  before  making  sail  is  bowsing 
down  the  bowsprit.  The  method  of  fixing  the  bowsprit  constitutes 
the  main  difference  between  the  cutter  and  sloop  rig.  In  the 
sloop  it  is  a  standing  spar,  taking  the  tack  of  the  foresail ;  in  a 
cutter  it  is  a  reeving  spar  and  the  foresail  is  secured  at  the  stem- 
head.     (See  under  both  Cutter  and  Sloop.) 

Bower. — One  of  the  large  anchors  of  a  ship  which  hold  her  by 
the  bows,  hence  the  name.     (See  Anchor.  ) 

Bowgrace. — A  name  given,  in  ships  sailing  in  frozen  regions,  to 
a  framework  of  old  rope  or  junk  laid  round  the  bows,  stem  and  sides 
of  a  vessel  to  protect  her  from  floating  ice. 

Bowline.  1. — A  loop  in  a  rope,  tied  in  a  peculiar  manner  and 
often  used  to  throw  over  a  post.  (See  KNOTS. )  2.  A  rope  fastened 
to  a  square  sail  near  the  middle  of  the  leech  by  three  or  four  shorter 
ropes  called  bridles.  Bowlines  are  employed  on  the  principal  sails 
in  a  square-rigged  vessel  to  keep  the  weather  edges  forward  and 
steady,  for  without  some  such  tension  the  sails  would  be  continu- 
ously shivering.  Hence  to  be  sailing  with  a  taut  bowline  is  to  be 
close-hauled  (which  see).  To  check  the  bowlines  is  to  slacken  them  as 
the  ship  falls  off  from  the  wind. 

Bowse  down. — To  haul  down  taut.  The  act  of  tightening  a 
bobstay  by  hauling  on  its  fall  (i.e.,  its  running  end)  is  called  botcs- 
ing  down  the  bowsprit. 

Box. — Boxing  the  compass. — Repeating  the  points  of  the  com- 
pass in  order,  starting  from  any  point.  (See  COMPASS.)  Though 
this  accomplishment  may  be  unnecessary  to  amateur  sailors -a 
thorough  familiarity  with  the  compass  cannot  fail  to  prove  of  the 
utmost  service  on  many  occasions. 

Boxing  off. — Generally  speaking,  throwing  a  vessel's  head  off 
from  the  wind.  There  are  many  occasions  in  a  sailing  boat  when 
this  may  be  done,  as,  for  instance,  at  starting,  when  unable  to  get 
round  in  tacking,  or  if  there  be  danger  of  running  aground.  In  the 
last  case  the  plan  formerly  called  box  hauling  may  be  resorted  to 



which,  should  the  boat  refuse  to  come  round,  will  bring  her  back 
upon  the  same  tack  as  she  was  before. 

Box  hauling  (an  obsolete  term)  is  a  method  of  "  bringing  a 
ship,  when  close-hauled,  round  upon  the  other  tack,  when  she 
refuses  to  tack  and  there  is  not  room  to  wear.  By  throwing  the 
head  sails  ahack  she  gets  stern  way  ;  the  helm  thereupon  being  put 
a-lee,  the  ship's  head  falls  rapidly  off  from  the  wind  (this,  because 
when  a  vessel  is  moving  backwards  the  rudder  acts  the  reverse  way), 
which  she  soon  brings  aft ;  she  is 
then  speedily  rounded  to  Avith  but 
little  loss  of  ground."  (Brande  and 

Brace. — A  rope  communicating 
with  a  boom  or  yard-arm  for  the 
purpose  of  trimming  the  sail  to 
which  such  a  spar  may  be  attached. 
In  square  rigged  ships  the  braces 
trim  the  yards  horizontally.  Hence 
the  orders  brace  back,  brace  in, 
brace  or  round  up  sharp,  etc. 

Rudder  braces.  —  The  eyes  in 
which  a  rudder  swings  are  some- 
times called  braces.     (See  RUDDER. ) 

Brace  of  shakes. — A  slang  ex- 
pression signifying  "quickly."  (Its 
origin  is  explained  under  the  head- 
ing Shake.) 

Brackish. — Spoken  of  water  in 
a  river  when  half  salt  and  half 

Brail. — A  rope  encircling  a  sail 
for  the  purpose  of  gathering  it  up 
to  a  mast  or  yard.  Brails  are  used 
on  square  rigged  vessels  to  assist 
in  furling  the  sails.  In  fore-and-aft  rig  they  are  usually  em- 
ployed where  no  boom  exists.  They  are  common  in  fishing  craft 
and  almost  invariable  in  sea-going  barges.  When  brails  are  hauled 
taut,  the  sail  is  said  to  be  br ailed  up.     (See  fig.) 

Break. — 1.  (Of  the  anchor.) — To  out  anchor. 

2.  (Of  a  sail.) — To  stop  a  sail.     (See  STOP.) 

3.  (To  break  bulk.) — "To  take  part  of  the  ship's  cargo  out  of  the 
hold."     (Bailey.) 

Breaker. — 1.  A  small  water  barrel. 

2.  Breakers. — Waves  which,  in  consequence  of  the  shallowness  of 
the  water,  curl  over  and  "  break  "  as  seen  upon  any  beach.  The 
breaking  seas  in  deep  waters,  in  high  winds,  or  when  the  tide 
comes  up  against  the  wind,  are  not  breakers.  These  have  sometimes 
been  called  "  white  horses ;"  they  are  dangerous  to  small  boats. 

Barge  Sail  Brailed  Up. 

A     DICTIONARY     OF     SEA     TERMS. 



Breakwater. — An  artificial  bank  or  wall,  of  any  material,  set 
up  either  outside  a  harbour  or  along  a  coast  to  break  the  violence  of 
the  sea  and  create  a  smooth  shelter.  The  small  so-called  break- 
waters,  or  properly  speaking  groynes,  often  met  with  along  a  beach 
have  been  usually  placed  there  for  the  formation,  by  the  action  of  the 
sea,  of  an  artificial  beach,  when  the  sea  is  washing  away  the  land. 

Breaming. — The  cleansing  of  the  bottom  of  a  vessel  by  fire 
(this  melts  the  pitch  or  other  composition  with  which  she  has  been 
covered)  and  scraping. 

Breast-hook. — A  stout  knee  in  the  extreme  bow  of  a  vessel 
holding  the  parts  together.     (See  diagram  under  Frame.) 

Breechings  (mdgo  britchings). — Back  ropes  or  stays. 

Bridles.  —  Small  ropes  connecting 
some  object  with  a  larger  rope.  In 
square  rigged  ships,  short  ropes  con- 
necting the  leech  of  a  sail  with  the 
bowline.     {See  Bowline.) 

Trawl  bridles. — The  ropes  connecting 
the  beam  of  a  trawl  to  its  warp  or  main 

Brig.— A  vessel  with  two  masts  (fore 
and  main),  botb  of  them  square  rigged, 
but  having  a  gaff  mainsail.  The  brig  is 
becoming  a  rare  vessel,  the  brigantine  and  schooner  having  taken  its 
place  to  a  great  extent,  for  reasons  explained  under  the  heading  liia. 
The  vessel  once  known  as  the  snow  may  be  classed  under  brigs. 

Hermaphrodite  brig. — A  combination  of  the  brig  and  schooner 
rigs  from  which  we  get  the  modern  brigantine  (whieh  see).  It  is 
square  rigged  on  the  foremast  and  fore- 
and-aft  on  the  main  mast. 

Brig-mast.  —  The  name  given  to  a 
mast  wliich  carries  a  top-gallant  mast, 
in  contradistinction  to  the  schooner- 
matt,  which  has  no  top-gallant,  but 
only  lower  and  top-mast.  The  brig-mast 
is  the  distinguishing  difference  between 
the  brigantine  and  the  schooner,  and 
between  the  barkentine  and  the  three- 
masted  schooner  (both  of  which  see). 

Brigantine.  —  (A  small  or  lesser 
brig.)  A  vessel  with  two  masts  (fore  and  main),  the  foremast  brig 
rigged  with  square  fore  course,  and  the  main  mast  schooner  rigged. 
The  rig,  however,  may  vaiy  slightly. 

Bring-to.  —  Bring  up,  bring  up  to  the  wind.  —  The  act  of 
stopping  the  course  of  a  sailing  vessel  by  bringing  her  head  up  into 
the  wind. 

Broach. — Broaching  to. — A  slewing  round  when  running  before 
the  wind.     This  must  often  be  the  result  of  carelessness ;  the  lx>at's 





Fok  Sale. 

head  will  run  away  to  windward,  with  the  result  that  she  turns  her 
back  upon  her  proper  course. 

Broadside. — To  come  up  to  a 
vessel  broadside,  is  to  approach  her 
side  foremost,  as  a  dinghy  or  boat 
often  comes  up  to  a  yacht. 

Broadside. — A  British  broadside, 
in  the  old  days  of  the  wooden  walls, 
was  the  reception  often  given  to  a 
too  venturesome  enemy ;  it  consisted 
in  firing  all  the  cannon  on  one  side 
of  the  ship  at  the  same  moment. 

Broken-backed.  —  A  vessel  is 
said  to  have  broken  her  back  if  her 
ends  fall  apart,  as  from  running  on  a  rock.     {See  HOGGING. ) 

Broom  at  the  mast  head. — A  sign  that  a  boat  is  for  sale.  (Sec  fig. ) 

Buccaneer. — A  pirate  of  the  West  Indies  and  South  America 
during  the  seventeenth  and  eighteenth  centuries  :  they  are  some- 
times called  fdibustiers  by  French  writers.  For  a  description  of  these 
freebooters  see  Burney's  "  History  of  the  Buccaneers  of  America." 

Bucklers. — Pieces  of  wood  caulking  the  hawse  holes. 

Bugalet. — "  A  small  vessel  with  two  masts,  used  on  the  coast  of 
Brittany.  The  foremast  is  very  short ;  and  on  each  mast  is  carried 
a  square  sail,  and,  sometimes,  a  topsail  over  the  mainsail.  Tliey 
have  a  bowsprit,  and  set  one  or  two  jibs."    (Falconer's  Dictionary.) 

Build. — There  are  three  methods,  in  boat  building,  of  disposing 
the  planks  of  the  sides.  1.  Clincher,  clench,  or  lapstrake.  2. 
Carvel.     3.  Diagonal.     A  clincher-built   boat   is  one  in   which  the 

»   Building. 

strakes  overlap  This  is  the  style  most  generally  in  vogue  for 
.small  boats.  In  a  carvel-built  boat  all  the  planks  being  flush  with 
each  other,  a  smooth  surface  is  presented  to  the  eye.  This  class  of 
building  is  the  most  popular  for  yachts,  and  is  even  superseding 
clincher,  to  a  small  extent,  for  skiffs  ;  but  though  more  convenient, 
perhaps,  on  large  hulls,  it  is  hardly  likely  to  take  the  place  of 
clincher  for  open  boats  where  any  rough  wear  is  required  of  them. 



Diagonal  Build. 

As,  in  carvel  building,  the  planks  can  only  be  secured  at  the  timbers 
(or  ribs)  they  require  caulking  to  ensure  water-tightness.  In  diagonal- 
building  the  planks  are  laid  diagonally 
across  the  timbers,  and  most  usually 
a  second  casing  is  laid  over  these 
running  in  the  contraiy  direction. 
This  method  of  building  ensures 
great  strength,  though  at  the  expense 
(unless  very  Light-built)  of  some  extra 
weight.  The  best  wooden  yachts  are 
now  built  in  this  way,  wliile  such 
vessels  as  barges  have  for  a  long 
time  been  so  where  great  durability 
is  looked  for. 

Bulgeways,  or  bilgeways. — Timbers  placed  beneath  a  vessel 
while  building.     (See  also  under  Bilge.) 

Bulk. — Cargo  or  loose  material. 

Laden  in  b  ulk.  — A  vessel  laden  with  loose  cargo,  as  grain ,  ice,  salt,  etc. 

Bulkhead. — A  partition.  Bulkheads  may  be  of  almost  any 
material,  as  wood,  canvas,  or  iron ;  and  sometimes  their  office  is  to 
render  a  vessel  additionally  secure  by  dividing  it  into  water-tight 

Bull's-eye.  —  A  round  window  in  a  cabin.  Sometimes  the 
central  part  of  a  port-hole  light. 

Bulwarks. — A  parapet  round  the  deck  of  a  vessel  to  protect 
persons  or  goods  from  being  washed  overboard,  and  the  decks  from 
the  sea.  In  old  battle  ships  they  were  veiy  high  and  solid,  thereby 
affording  protection  from  an  enemy's  musketry  ;  and  during  the  day 
the  hammocks  of  the  crew  were  generally  stowed  beneath  them. 

Bum-boat. —  An  old  term  for  a  boat  allowed  to  attend  upon  a 
ship  in  port,  and  supply  the  sailors  with  various  small  articles. 

Bumpkin  (probably  correctly  named  boom-kin,  a  little 
lx>om). — A  small  fixed  boom  or  short  pole.  It  is  usually  seen, 
either  as  an  extension  aft  to  hold  the  block  by  which  a  mizzen 
sail  is  worked,  or  as  a  diminutive  bowsprit  for  an  open  sailing  boat. 
In  the  latter  case,  it  is  often  of  iron  and  fits  over  the  stern-post, 
being  fitted  with  a  hook  at  the  forward  end,  to  take  a  foresail  or 
the  tack  of  a  dipping  lug.     (See  diagram  under  BOOM.) 

Certain  yachts  have  a  short  thick  bumpkin  running  out  under,  and 
partially  supporting  the  bowsprit,  as  a  jib-boom  is  supported  in  a  large 
vessel.  The  object  of  this  is  to  increase  the  size  of  the  fore-sail  by 
taking  it  beyond  the  stem-head,  and  a  boat  thus  rigged  is,  in  America, 
called  a  sloop,  though  not  answering  to  our  meaning  of  that  word. 

Bung. — 1.  The  cork  which  stops  the  hole  at  the  bottom  of  a 
lx>at.  (See  PLUG. )  2.  In  boat  racing  it  used  to  be,  and  occasion- 
ally is,  in  some  districts,  the  practice  to  start  the  competitors  from 
moored  buoys  which  were  held  by  the  coxswain  and  let  go  when  the 
signal  to  go  was  given  :  at  these  times  the  buoy  was  called  the  "  bung. " 

D  2 




Bunk. — A  bed  on  board  ship.  The  word  is  used  in  contradis- 
tinction to  hammock.      A  bunk  is  fixed,  a  hammock  swung. 

Bunt,  or  belly. — It  is  difficult  to  define  the  exact  meaning  of  this 
term.  Generally  speaking,  the  bunt  is  the  main  body  of  a  sail,  ex- 
clusive of  such  parts  as  are  named  (as  the  luff  and  leech,  the  head, 
foot  clew,  etc.).  In  square  sails  the  bunt  has  been  thus  described: — 
"  That  portion  nearest  the  central  perpendicular  bine.  If  a  sail  be 
divided  into  four  equal  portions,  from  side  to  side,  the  bunt  would 
comprise  the  two  centre  strips. " 

Bunt  lines. — Lines  for  gathering  up  the  bunt  of  square  sails  to 
their  yards.     They  are  fastened  to  cringles  in  the  foot-rope  of  a  sail. 

Buoy. — A  floating  instrument  moored 
over  a  certain  spot,  either  to  mark  a 
shoal  or  a  course  for  vessels ;  to  make 
vessels  fast  to ;  to  mark  the  situation  of  a 
mooring ;  and  for  various  other  purposes. 
Any  floating  object  which  marks  some- 
thing under  the  water,  or  some  course  or 
stream,  may,  in  fact,  be  called  a  buoy. 
Buoys  are  of  various  forms  :  they  may  be 
round,  can,  nun,  etc.  (See  below.)  They 
are  also  painted  in  various  manners  to 
distinguish  one  from  another.  In  estuaries, 
or  over  dangerous  spots,  we  sometimes  find 
gas  buoys,  those  having  a  gas  light  upon 
them,  or  bell  buoys,  having  heavy  bells 
which  may  be  heard  at  night  or  in  fogs  ; 
wlrile  many  more  have  beacons  upon  them 
of  different  shapes,  as  the  round,  the  dia- 
mond, or  the  square.  All  these  forms  have 
their  particular  uses  and  situations,  which 
are  brought  to  a  uniform  system  under  the 
jurisdiction  of  the  Trinity  House.  Thus  on 
entering  a  port  (or  running  on  the  main 
stream  of  the  flood  tide)  can  buoys  always 
appear  on  the  starboard  side  and  nun  buoys 
on  the  port,  while  spherical  buoys  mark 
the  ends  of  middle  grounds.  In  the  river 
Thames,  on  going  up  from  the  Nore  to 
London,  the  starboard  buoys  are  plain  black 
or  red,  some  having  globular  beacons,  some  being  without  them. 
The  port  buoys  are  either  chequered,  red  and  white,  or  black  and 
white,  or  painted  with  vertical  stripes  of  red  or  black,  some  having 
beacons  in  the  form  of  a  cage,  others  being  without  beacons.  And 
the  middle  ground  buoys  are  marked  with  red  or  black  stripes  placed 
horizontally  and  being  with  or  without  beacons  of  a  diamond  shape. 

Can  buoy  (i.e.,  cone  buoy). — One  in  the  form  of  a  cone — not  of  a 
can.     (See  Can  Buoy.) 





Swallow  Tail. 

Nun  buoy. — One  in  the  form  of  a  double  cone.     (See  Nun  BUOY.) 

Wreck  buoys  are  green  and  marked  with  the  word  "  Wreck  "  in 
large  white  letters. 

Buoyancy. — That  capacity  of  floating  rightly  which  a  vessel 
should  possess.     It  is  dependent  upon  form. 

Centre  of  buoyancy. — The  centre  of  gravity  of  the  water  displaced 
hy  any  vessel. 

Burden. — 1.  The  capacity  of  a  vessel,  as  100  tons  burden,  etc. 

2.  Burdens  (in  shipbuilding). — Timbers  laid  over  the  floors  to 
prevent  cargo  or  ballast  from  injuring  the  lining.  In  boats  the 
burdens  are  the  footwalings  (ivhich  see). 

Burgee. — A  small  flag  ending  in  a  point  or  a  swallow  tail.  If  it 
ends  in  a  point  it  is,  in  mercantile  language,  a  pennant ;  but  among 
yacht  clubs,  each  of  winch  adopts  one  as  a 
distinguishing  mark,  the  burgee  is  almost 
always  pointed,  those  of  a  commodore,  rear, 
and  vice  being  swallow-tailed.  The  different 
devices  to  be  seen  on  yachts'  burgees  are 
very  numerous,  and  are  published  annually 
in  Hunt's  Yacht  List.  Those  clubs  which  are 
Royal  may,  with  very  few  exceptions,  be 
distinguished  by  a  regal  crown  surmounting 
their  charge ;  thus  the  Royal  Squadron  dis- 
plays, by  privilege,  the  cross  of  St.  George, 
over  which  is  the  crown  ;  the  Royal  London, 
the  arms  of  London  on  a  blue  field,  above 
which  is  the  crown ;  but  the  Royal  Harwich — 
a  lion  rampant,  or,  on  a  blue  field — is  without 
the  crown.  It  is  the  practice  in  large  yacht 
clubs  to  register  and  number  both  its  members 
and  the  boats  belonging  to  its  fleet,  each 
having  their  own  particular  flag,  or  number, 
as  it  is  usually  called.  By  this  means  both 
boats  and  members  are  known  separately,  and 
it  is  possible  to  tell,  by  signal,  riot  only  what 
boat  has  come  to  a  berth,  but  also  who  may 
be  on  board.  The  burgee  marks  the  club  to 
which  a  yacht  belongs  ;  numbers  (flags)  hoisted 
over  the  burgee  indicate  the  boat's  number 
(and  therefore  her  name)  ;  numbers  hoisted 
under  the  burgee  indicate  members'  numbers 
(and  therefore  their  names).  Certain  yacht 
clubs  have  the  privilege  granted  to  them  of 
using  certain  ensigns.  When  a  yacht  flies  a 
particular  ensign  the  burgee  of  the  same  club 
is  displayed  with  it.  A  yacht  may  belong  to 
several  clubs,  but  she  never  flies  the  burgee 
of  one  with  the  ensign  of  another.  And  when 
she  comes  to  the  head-quarters  of  a  club  to  y.  C. 


A    DICTIONARY     OF     SEA     TERMS. 

Royal  Harwich 
Y.  C. 

which  she  belongs,  she  always  flies  its  burgee. 
On  festive  occasions,  such  as  regattas,  a  yacht 
flies  all  the  colours  to  which  her  owner  has  a 
right,  in  order  of  precedence,  with  those  of 
the  local  club  usually  at  the  head,  or  if  he  be 
an  officer  of  any  club  the  ensign  and  burgee 
of  that  club  have  precedence.  On  Sundays  the 
burgee  may  be  hoisted  and  flown  together  with 
any  colours  that  may  have  been  won  during  the 
season,  and  the  ensign  over  the  taffrail. 

Bush,  or  coak.— The  centre  piece  (usually  of  gun-metal)  of  a 
wooden  sheave  in  a  block.  It  is,  in  fact,  the  bearing  of  the  pin  on 
which  the  sheave  runs.  (For  a  description  of  its  shape  see  under  Coak.  ) 

Buss. — "  A  two-masted  vessel  used  by  the  Dutcli  and  English  in 
the  herring  fishery.  It  is  nearly  obsolete  now  ;  but  when  employed 
is  from  fifty  to  seventy  tons  in  burden."  (Brande  and  Cox.)  Falconer 
describes  it  as  having  been  "  furnished  with  two  small  sneds  or 
cabins,  one  at  the  prow  and  the  other  at  the  stem  ;  the  forward 
one  being  employed  as  the  kitchen."  These  houses  on  deck  may 
still  be  seen  on  many  Dutch  craft. 

Butt. — The  butt  is  the  lower  end  of  a  yard  or  sprit. 

Buttock. — The  convexity  of  the  under  portion  of  the  stem  of  a 
vessel ;  in  other  words,  that  part  between  the  counter  (or  the 
transom)  and  the  bilge.  Its  actual  extent  is  from  the  after  end  of 
the  sheer  strake  to  the  keel,  in  a  curved  and  forward  direction. 
From  this  we  have  what  is 
called  a  buttock  line,  which, 
in  the  lines  of  a  boat,  is  a 
longitudinal  vertical  section 
through  one  of  the  buttocks. 
On  the  breadth  plan,  there- 
fore, it  appears  as  a  straight 
line  parallel  to  the  keel  ;  from  thence  it  is  projected  to  the 
bodj'  plan,  where  it  becomes  a  vertical  bine ;  and  from  thence 
again  being  projected  to  the  sheer  plan,  it  will  be  found  to 
assume  a  curved  form. 
(See  Line.) 

By.  —  By  the  head. — 
Another  manner  of  ex- 
pressing the  term  "  down 
by  the  head,"  that  is>— 
the  head  depressed,  as  in 
the  figure. 

By  the  wind  (in  sailing). 
—  Sailing  with  the  wind 
a' head  of  the  beam.  (See 
under  Close-hauled.)  by  the  head. 


A    DICTIONARY    OP     SEA     TEEMS.  39 


Cabin. — A  habitable  apartment  on  ship-board. 

Cable. — The  rope  or  chain  by  Which  a  ship's  anchor  is  held. 
Cables  were  formerly  of  hemp,  but  to-day  chain  cables  are  in  almost 
universal  use.  The  advantages  of  the  latter  are  manifold  :  they 
neither  chafe  nor  become  rotten  ;  "  and  by  reason  of  their  greate/ 
weight  the  strain  is  exerted  on  the  cable  rather  than  on  the  ship." 
A  chain  with  a  sectional  diameter  of  lin.  is  said  to  be  equivalent 
to  a  lOin.  cable,  nearly. 

"A  cable's  length — the  tenth  of  a  nautical  mile;  or  approximately, 
100  fathoms  or  iiOO  yards."  (Lloyd's  Almanac.)  A  chain's  length 
is  12£  fathoms.  A  cable  is,  or  should  be,  fastened  at  the  end  to 
some  strong  part  of  the  vessel.  The  lengths  of  chain  are  joined  by 
shackles,  and  thus  the  cable  may  be  shortened  or  lengthened  with- 
out interfering  either  with  the  anchor  or  fixed  end  ;  these  shackles 
have  their  pins  countersunk,  so  as  to  offer  no  impediment  to  the  free 
run  of  the  cable,  and  they  are  placed  lug  forward  for  the  same  reason. 
Swivels  are  placed  at  certain  intervals  (generally  at  every  other 
length  of  chain)  so  that  the  chain  by  turning  them  maybe  prevented 
from  knitting,  that  is,  from  twisting,  the  technical  name  for  a 
twist  in  chain  being  knit.  In  very  deep  water  it  may  sometimes 
be  necessary  to  employ  more  than  one  length  of  cable  ;  every  ad- 
ditional length  is  termed  a  shot  according  to  its  number,  thus  single- 
shot  indicates  that  one  length  has  been  addetl,  double-shot  two 
lengths,  and  so  on.  A  cable  Is  sometimes  marked  in  fathoms  ;  and 
one  of  the  links  is  generally  marked  (either  by  a  bit  of  bunting  or 
some  other  equally  convenient  material)  to  show  when  it  has  gone  out 
as  far  as  its  length  and  the  necessary  bite  on  the  windlass  will  allow. 

To  pay  out,  veer  away,  or  slacken  are  all  synonymous  terms  for 
letting  out  a  cable  to  a  greater  or  less  distance.  To  pay  it  out  cheajt 
is  to  slacken  out  quickly  or  throw  the  cable  over-board  in  bulk. 

To  slip  the  cable  is  to  let  it  go  from  the  ship,  an  operation  which 
may  sometimes  be  necessary  in  emergency. 

Cable  laid,  cablet.     (See  under  ROPE.) 

Caboose.— A  cooking  house  on  the  deck  of  a  ship.   (See  COBOOSE. ) 

Cackling.— (See  Keckling.) 

Cadet  (Naval). — A  youth  who,  having  been  i  • 
duly  nominated  to  the  Navy,  holds  a  preparatory  jjJ, 
appoin tment  thereto.  .']¥ 

Caique. — A  small  Levantine  vessel  or  fishing  t^r^rSiiaJl 
boat  or  the  eastern  Mediterranean.  v-^^V        /"*--^ri 

Call. — The  small  pipe  (often  of  silver)  used  \/"/>\  //\\/ 
by  the  lwatswain  of  a  ship  in  piping  orders.  ^V|  l^v"^"^ 

Camber. — 1.   A  curvature  upwards.    A  boat's  \j 

deck,   if  curving  upwards  from  side  to  side,  or  Q 

from    stem    to    stern,  is   said    to   be   cambered,      Camberkd  Dkck. 
and     also    her   keel,    if   it   be   rounded.      2.    A 
small  dock,  for  boats  or  timber-,  is  also  sometimes  called  a  camber. 




Can  Buoy. 

Can  buoy  (i-e-,  cone-buoy). — A  buoy  in 
the  form  of  a  cone — not  of  a  can. 

Canal.— An  artificial  ditch  or  channel  filled 
with  -water  for  purposes  of  inland  navigation. 
It  usually  has  a  pathway  on  one  or  both  sides, 
called  the  tow  path.  Canals  may  be  said  to 
intersect  the  whole  surface  of  England. 

Canoe.— The  native  American  name  for  a 
lx>at  made  out  of  a  single  trunk  of  a  tree  ;  but 
as  we  understand  the  term  in  England  it  means 
any  boat  propelled  by  paddles,  of  which  there  are  various  sorts. 

Canoe  riy. — Sailing  canoes  are  generally  rigged  with  main, 
mizzen,  and  foresail ;  and  their 
sails  are  often  battened — that  is, 
have  battens,  or  splines,  sewn  in 
across  them,  both  to  keep  them 
flat  and  to  help  in  reefing  them. 
Many  fantastic  devices  may  be 
indulged  in  with  canoes,  and 
some  have  a  complete  system 
of  tiny  blocks  on  their  main  and 
mizzen  sails,  so  arranged  that 
by  pulling  on  a  thin  lanyard  led 
aft  to  the  helmsman  a  reef  may 
}>e  taken  in  without  his  moving 
from  his  place  in  the  well. 

Cant. — To  turn  or  lean  over  or  round  ;  the  term  is  somewhat 
vaguely  applied.  A  piece  of  wood  used  for  the  support  of  some 
part  of  a  construction  is  also  called  a  cant. 

"  Cant  is  a  term  used  to  express  the  position  of  any  piece  of  timber 
that  does  not  stand  square,  and  then  it  is  said  to  be  on  the  cant." 

CantUng. — The  act  of  turning  plank  or  timber  to  see  theopposite  side. 

Cant-pieces. — Pieces  of  timber  inserted  and  annexed  to  the  angles  of 
fishes  and  side-trees,  so  as  to  supply  any  part  that  may  prove  sappy 
or  rotten. 

Cant  timbers. — "Those  timbers  which  are  situated  at  the  two  ends 
of  a  ship.  They  derive  their  name  from  being  canted  or  raised 
obliquely  from  the  keel,  in  contradistinction  to  those  whose  planes 
are  perpendicular  to  it. "     (Falconer's  Dictionary. ) 

Cant  to. — To  tvirn  with  the  tide,  as  a  vessel  at  anchor  swings 
when  the  tide  changes. 

Canvas. — The  material  of  which  the  sails  of  a  ship  are  made. 
But  the  word  has  another  meaning  in  its  general  application  to  all 
or  any  of  the  sails  set ;  as  to  say,  for  instance,  that  a  boat  spreads 
"all  her  canvas, "or  that  she  sails  under  "racing  canvas, "  press 
canvas,  shortened  canvas,  etc. 

Cap. — Generally  speaking,  a  ring  at  the  end  of  a  spar. 

Upper  and   lower  cap. — The   fittings   to    the    head   of   a    mast, 

Canoe  Big  with  Battened  Sails. 

A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA     TERMS.  41 

through  -which  an  upper  or  top  mast  travels.     The  upper  ring  is 
called  the  cap  ;  the  lower,  the  yoke  or  lower  cap.      (See  Mast.  ) 

To  cap  a  rope. — To  cover  the  end  of  it  with  tarred  canvas  and 
tvhip  it  with  yarn  or  twine. 

Capful  of  wind. — A  slight  breeze. 

Cape. — The  extreme  point  of  a  promontory.  When  high  and  ter- 
minating at  an  acute  angle,  it  is  called  a  point.  When  low  and 
of  small  projection  it  becomes  a  ness,  or  in  Scotland  a  mull.  Thus 
we  have  Morte  Point,  Orford  Ness,  Mull  of  Galloway.  The  word 
Naze  may  also  be  regarded  as  ness. 

Cappanus. — "  The  worm  which  adheres  to  and  gnaws  the  bottom 
of  a  ship. "     (Falconer.) 

Capsize  (of  a  boat). — To  turn  it  completely  over  in  the  water,  as 
it  might  be  if  caught  on  the  head  of  a  breaker,  or  in  smooth  water, 
if  those  in  it  insist  in  sitting  all  on  one  side. 

To  capsize  a  rope — to  turn  it  over.      Coils  are  capsized  after  being 
made  so  that  the  rope  shall  run  out  from 
the  top  of  the  coil. 

Capstan.  —  A  "wheel  and  axle," 
usually  revolving  in  a  horizontal 
position,  that  is,  the  axle  being 
placed  upright,  and  worked  by  long 
levers  inserted  into  the  head.  Its 
use  is  to  obtain  great  power  in  haul- 
ing, and  thus  it  may  be  found  in  a 
ship  for  hauling  in  a  cable,  etc.,  or  on 
a  quay  or  dock  ;  and  in  these  days  it  Capstan. 

is  often  worked  by  steam. 

Carboy. — A  large  glass  bottle  protected  by  basket  work.  They 
usually  contain  acids,  and  may  often  be  seen  on  canal  harges. 

Cardinal  points  (of  the  compass). — The  four  main  points,  North, 
South,  East,  and  West.     (See  Compass.) 

Careen. — To  heel  or  make  to  lie  over  on  one  side.  The  opera- 
tion of  heaving  the  ship  down  to  one  side,  by  the  application  of 
a  strong  purchase  to  her  masts,  so  that  she  may  be  breamed.  But 
copper  sheathing  has  superseded  the  necessity  for  this.  A  vessel  is 
also  said  to  careen  when  she  inclines  under  press  of  canvas,  at  sea. 

Carlings.  or  carlines  (in  ship-building).  —  Short  beams 
running  fore  and  aft  between  the  great  transverse  beams,  which 
they  bind  securely  together.  They  also  aid  in  supporting  the  deck. 
(See  diagrams  under  Frame.) 

Carrick  bend. — A  peculiar  form  of  knot. 

Carronade. — A  peculiar,  short  piece  of  ordnance  of  early  days,  so 
called  from  Carron,  the  town  in  Scotland  in  which  it  Mas  first  made. 

Carry  away. — To  break  or  lose  any  part  of  the  rigging  of  a 
vessel,  as  a  spar  which  may  be  snapped  or  a  sail  blown  out.  Thus 
it  may  be  said  of  a  yacht  that  she  "  carried  away  her  topmast  " — 
meaning  that  it  broke. 

42  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

Carry  on. — To  spread  the  utmost  extent  of  canvas  possible,  as 
a  yacht  may  do  in  racing.  But  the  term  is  usually  understood  to 
mean  that  she  is  crowding  it  on  at  a  risk. 

Carvel.  —A  method  of  boat  building  in  which  the  strakes  are 
flush  one  with  another  and  present  a  smooth  surface.     (See  Build.) 

Case. — The  outer  layer  of  planking  on  a  boat.  This  name,  however, 
only  exists  where  there  is  a  double  layer,  as  in  diagonally  built  craft. 
The  inner  layer  is  then  called  the  case,  and  that  outside  it  the  skin. 

Cast. — Casting  off  a  boat's  head  is  to  pay  it  off  when  she  has 
come  on  the  proper  tack. 

To  cast  anchor. — To  let  go  anchor.     (See  ANCHOR.) 

Cast  aivay. — Lost. 

Castor  and  Pollux. — "  The  name  given  to  an  electric  meteor 
which  sometimes  appears  at  sea,  attached  to  the  extremities  of  the 
masts  of  ships  under  the  form  of  balls  of  fire.  When  one  bight  only 
is  seen,  it  is  called  Helena.  The  meteor  is  generally  supposed  to 
indicate  the  cessation  of  a  storm  or  a  future  calm  ;  but  Helena,  or 
one  ball  only,  to  portend  bad  weather. "  (Brande  and  Cox.) 

Cat. — A  name  at  one  time  given  to  a  ship  of  peculiar  build,  and 
used,  commonly,  in  the  coal  trade.  Falconer  describes  its  form  a^ 
founded  upon  the  Norwegian  model,  having  a  narrow  stern,  pro- 
jecting quarters,  and  deep  waist.  "  These  vessels,"  he  says,  "are 
generally  built  remarkably  strong,  and  cany  from  four  to  six 
hundred  tons ;  or,  in  the  language  of  their  own  mariners,  from 
twenty  to  thirty  keels  of  coal."  Vessels  answering  tolerably  well 
to  such  a  description  may  still  be  seen  in  the  North  Sea. 

The  cat,  on  shipboard,  is  that  part  which  has  to  do  with  the 
anchor  and  weiglung  it.  Thus  we  have  the  cathead,  a  timber 
projecting  from  the  bow,  to  which  the  anchor  is  secured. 

Cat  block,  a  block  which  is  attached  to  the  anchor  when  it  reaches 
the  cat-heads. 

Cat  hook,  the  hook  by  which  the  cat  block  is  attached. 

Cat  fall,  the  rope,  passing  through  the  cat  block,  by  which  tlie 
anchor  is  hauled  inwards,  and  all  of  these  constitute  the  cat  tackle. 

Cat  holes,  in  the  stern  of  a  ship,  are  holes  through  which  a  cable 
passes  when  it  may  be  necessary  to  heave  the  ship  astern. 

Cat  harpings,  in  the  rigging  of  a  ship,  are  ropes  used  to  draw 
in  the  shrouds  of  masts  or  bowsprits  that  they  may  not  interfere 
with  the  yards,  etc. 

Cat  rig,  with  sailing  boats,  etc.,  is  a  rig  of  one  sail,  the 
peculiarity  of  which  consists  in  the  manner  in  which  the  sail  is 
hoisted.  The  mast  is  stepped  very  far  forward,  and  a  yard  con- 
siderably longer  than  the  mast  runs  along  it,  carrying  a  sail  which 
is  supposed  to  represent  both  the  main  and  top-sail  of  other  rigs.  It 
is  claimed  for  the  cat-rig  that  it  possesses  great  advantages  in  reef- 
ing. An  improvement  on  it,  consisting  chiefly  in  the  introduction 
of  a  reefing  boom,  was  brought  in  by  a  Mr.  Forbes,  of  America,  some 
years  ago  ;  the  description  of  this  improved  rig  is  quoted  in  Mr. 
Davies'  "  Boat  Sailing  for  Amateurs." 

A     DICTIONARY     OF    SEA     TEEMS. 


Cat's  para. — 1.  A  name  sometimes  given  to  a  light  wind  which 
sweeps  gently  over  the  surface  of  the  sea  in  a  calm,  and  then 
dies  away.  It  is  seen  coming  from  a  distance,  and  often  in  a 
triangular  form.  2.  Of  a  rope. — A  peculiar  turn  given  to  a  rope 
in  order  to  hook  a  tackle  to  it  is  also  called  a  cat's  paw. 

Catamaran. — A  species  of  sailing  raft  used  in  the  Indies.  Its 
motions  are  controlled  by  two  drop-hoards  let  down,  one  from  the 
fore  part,  the  other  astern,  through  the  raft,  and  by  means  of  these 
it  may  not  only  be  steered  to  a  nicety,  hut  made  to  sail  on  the  wind, 
tack  and  turn,  just  in  the  same  manner  as  a  hoat.  This  raft  is  des- 
cribed in  a  most  interesting  manner  by  Captain  Basil  Hall  in  the 
"  Lieutenant  and  Commander." 

Catch,  (in  rowing). — The  grip  (the  more  proper  term)  which  an 
oar  gets  of  the  water  at  the  commencement  of  a  stroke.  It  should 
be  firm  and  continuous,  taken  quickly,  but  without  excitement ; 
and  there  is  no  doubt  that  thus  performed  it  produces  great  speed. 

Catching  a  crab. — The  art  is  described  under  the  word  Crab. 

Caulking. — The  operation  performed  upon  wooden  vessels  to  pre- 
vent leakage,  and  assist  in  fixing  the  whole  frame  of  the  hull.  It 
consists  of  stuffing  the  seams  (the  spaces  between  the  planks)  with 
oakum,  and  then  payiiig  them  with  hot  pitch. 

Cavil. — (See  Cleat.) 

Centre-board,  centre-keel  « 
drop  -  keel.  —  A  heavy,  movable 
plate  of  iron,  lead,  or  timber  let 
down  below  the  keel  of  a  sailing 
boat,  al>oiit  midships.  It  serves  a 
two-fold  purpose,  acting  at  once  as 
a  lee-board  —  enabling  the  boat  to 
carry  more  sail  than  she  otherwise 
could — and  as  a  lifting  keel  which, 
in  case  of  her  running  aground,  can 
be  raised  immediately,  thereby  re- 
ducing the  draught  of  the  boat  and 
enabling  her  to  float  again.  In  run- 
ning before  the  wind  a  centre-board 
is  raised,  so  that  as  small  a  resist- 
ance as  possible  may  l>e  presented 
to  the  water ;  in  sailing  close  hauled 
it  is  let  down  to  its  fullest  :  and 
according  to  the  spread  of  canvas 
carried  and  the  direction  of  the 
wind,  its  depth  between  these  ex- 
tremes may  be  varied. 

But  the  accumulation  of  all  the  weight  and  depth  of  a  keel  into 
one  place  may  be  carried  to  excess ;  and  should  the  movable  keel  be 
made  heavier  than  a  light  hull  can  well  bear,  its  tendency  is  to 
render  the  boat  too  stiff,  and  thereby  to  destroy  its  buoyancy.     The 


44  A    DICTIONABY    OF    SEA     TEEMS. 

best  material  of  which  the  plate  can  be  made  under  these  circum- 
stances would  seem  to  be  wood  ;  and  to  render  it  heavy  it  may  be 
weighted  at  the  bottom.  There  are  various  forms  of  centre-board. 
The  most  simple  is  a  plain  plate,  dropped  evenly  down  ;  but  being 
very  apt  to  jam  it  is  not  much  used.  It  is,  however,  in  many 
respects,  the  best.  But  the  favourite  arrangement  is  the  board 
which  swings  on  a  pivot,  and  of  this  there  are  many  patterns,  of 
which  some,  almost  semi-circular  in  shape,  are  called  cheeseeutters. 
In  another  form  one  board  works  inside  another,  opening  like  a  fan, 
so  that  the  depth  of  keel  can  be  better  calculated.  This,  though 
apparently  good  in  principle,  is  not  much  used  except  for  canoes. 
The  exact  position  of  a  centre-board  is  of  great  moment  ;  it  depends 
upon  the  shape  of  the  boat,  the  use  to  which  she  is  to  be  put,  and 
the  sail  area.  For  sea  boats  a  great  depth  of  centre-keel  is  not 
found  to  answer,  while  on  smooth  waters  it  may  be  considerable. 
In  all  measurements  for  racing,  the  board  is  let  down  to  its  fullest 
extent.  For  boats  intended  to  be  beached,  the  centre-board  is 
peculiarly  Avell  suited  ;  but  it  is  not  on  this  account  to  be  concluded 
that  the  invention  has  its  origin  in  beached  boats,  since,  long 
before  it  ever  came  into  general  use,  it  was  habitually  employed 
in  boats  which  were  never  hauled  up  on  land.  In  one  form  or 
another,  indeed,  whether  as  lee-board  or  centre-board,  it  maybe  said 
to  date  from  time  immemorial. 

Centre  of  buoyancy. — The  centre  of  gravity  of  the  water 
displaced  by  any  vessel. 

Chafe. — To  rub  or  wear  away  by  rubbing. 

Chaffer. — Spoken  of  a  head  sail,  and  more  particularly  of  a  jib, 
when  it  keeps  shivering. 

Chain. — Chain  is  becoming  more  used  in  shipping  every 
year,  and  is  now,  therefore,  made  in  a  variety  of  shapes  and 
sizes.  The  principle  upon  which  the  manufacture  is  founded 
may  be  quoted,  thus  : — "  Much  depends  upon  the  shape  of  links 
in  order  to  obtain  the  greatest  resistance  of  a  chain  ;  and  as  long 
as  the  strain  is  kept  in  the  direction  of  the  axis,  the  strongest 
form  will  be  obtained  when  the  sides  of  the  chain  are  parallel  to  the 
line  of  strain.  But  as  this  is  often  in  a  direction  perpendicular  to 
the  axis,  it  is  essential  to  introduce  a  stay  which  should  maintain 
the  sides  invariably  in  their  position,  and  to  resist  any  unequal  com- 
pression of  the  metal  in  the  sides. "  The  stay  here  spoken  of  is  often 
seen  in  cables,  and  constitutes  that  which  is  known  as  the  "  stud 
link  "  ;  it  is  wrought  or  cast  in  various  patterns. 

The  most  common  chains  in  use  (see  fig.)  are:  round  or  end 
link ;  close-link ;  open-link ;  stud-link  ;  curb.  Round-linked  chains 
are  not  used  for  nautical  purposes,  but  a  circular  link  usually  occurs 
in  cables,  at  the  end  of  every  chain  length,  and  is  therefore  called 
an  end-ring.  Open-linlc  is  the  pattern  most  frequently  employed 
for  all  general  purposes,  both  at  sea  and  ashore,  being  the  most 





generally  serviceable  and  the  least  expensive :  cables 
of  small  craft  are  of  this  pattern.  Stud-link  is 
found  in  the  cables  of  large  vessels,  for  reasons 
above  quoted.  Curb  chain  is  somewhat  rare,  being 
expensive ;  it  is  powerful,  and  when  twisted 
becomes  quite  rigid. 

A  chain  length  is  12£  fathoms.  A  cable  length 
is  the  tenth  of  a  nautical  mile ;  approximately  100 
fathoms.  The  thickness  of  a  chain  is  measured 
by  the  thickness  of  the  bar  of  which  it  is  made. 
"  A  chain  of  which  the  section  is  one  inch  in 
diameter  breaks  with  16  tons ;  such  a  chain  is 
equivalent  to  a  lOin.  hempen  cable  nearly.  And 
the  dimensions  of  the  chain  cable  corresponding 
to  any  hemp  cable  are  therefore  easily  found  by 
nearly  dividing  the  circumference  of  the  hemp 
cable  by  10."  The  formula  for  the  safe  load 
of  a  chain  in  tons  has  been  thus  given  : 

D=vW       or        W  =  5_\ 

Where  W=the  safe  load,  and  D=the  diameter 
expressed  in  £ths  of  an  inch,  the  weight  of 
chain  in  lbs.  per  fathom  =  *85D2.  "  In  order  that 
the  ship  may  be  enabled  to  let  slip  her  cable  in 
case  of  necessity,  chain  cables  are  furnished  with 
bolts  at  distances  from  each  other  of  a  fathom  or 
two,  which  can  be  readily  withdrawn. " 

Chain-locker. — The  hold  in  the  fore  part  of  a 
boat  into  which  the  anchor  chain  descends. 

Chains  or  channel  plates. — Iron  bars  or  plates  on 
a  vessel's  sides,  running  upwards,  and  receiving  the  deadeyes  by 
which  the  shrouds  are  held  down.  In  large  vessels  the  channel 
plates  are  kept  down  by  strong  chains,  hence  the  name.  Where 
the  vessel  has  channels  the  chains  are  kept  away  from  the  bulwarks 
by  them,  but  in  smaller  craft  the  channels  are  dispensed  with  and 
the  plates  simply  run  up  the  sides  somewhat  higher  than  the 
gunwales.  In  such  craft  these  plates  are  frequently  called  the 
channels.     {See  CHANNELS.) 

Chain  bolts. — "  Those  bolts  which  are  driven  through  the  upper 
end  of  the  preventer  plates  and  the  toe  link  of  the  chains."  This 
has  reference  to  large  vessels  of  the  old  type,  when  the  chain  (or 
channel)  plates  were  held  down  by  iron  chains  from  beneath. 

Chamfer. — To  take  the  edge  off  or  bevel  a  plank,  which  is  then 
said  to  have  chamfered  edges. 

Changing  rigging  end  for  end. — This  consists  in  turning 
any  such  ropes  as  may  be  chafing  in  one  place,  end  for  end,  so  as  to 
bring  all  parts  into  equal  wear.  Rigging  changed  thus  will 
naturally  last   longer    than   when   allowed    to  wear    bare  without 



turning  ;  but  the  ropes  in  small  boats  are  so  sbort  that  the  practice 
is  not  much  followed. 

Channels  {chain  wales — i.e.,  the  ivales  upon  which  certain  ehaitis 
are  fixed). — In  ships  these  are  wooden  platforms  projecting  from  the 
hull  on  each  side  of  each  mast ;  their  office  is  to  keep  the  chains 
and  channel  plates  away  from  the  sides.  These  channel  plates  or 
chain  plates  are  flat  bars  of  iron  running  in  an  upward  direction 
from  beneath  the   channels,  and  taking  the  deadeyes  by  which  the 

CHANNELS      for    YACHTS 

1/       i.        „  vV 



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shrouds  of  the  masts  are  held  down.  In  smaller  craft  and  in  many 
modern  vessels  the  channels  proper  disappear,  the  plates  remaining  in 
their  place;  while  in  sailing  boats  even  these  plates  are  dispensed  with, 
and  both  channels  and  plates  may  become  little  more  than  eye-bolts. 
The  name  channels  is  still  retained,  however,  so  that  as  far  as 
amateur  sailing  is  concerned,  channels  may  almost  be  described  as 
those  points  on  the  sides  of  a  boat  to  ivhich  the  bases  of  the  shrouds  are 
attached.  When  the  channels  project  to  any  great  extent,  as  is 
sometimes  the  case  in  very  narrow  boats,  they  may  be  called  out- 
rigged  channels.  Many  barges  are  without  channel  plates,  because 
the  lee-boards  come  in  the  way  of  them. 

Chappelling. — Chappelling  a  ship  is  "the  act  of  turning  her  round 
in  a  light  breeze  of  wind  when  she  is  close-hauled,  so  that  she  will 
lie  the  same  way  she  did  before.  This  is  commonly  occasioned  by  the 
negligence  of  the  steersman,  or  by  a  sudden  change  of  the  wind. " 

Charring. — Binning  the  external  surface  of  wood.  It  is  a 
valuable  process  for  the  preservation  of  piles  or  any  timbers  which 
may  be  subjected  to  alternate  exposure  to  the  air  and  submersion  in 
water.  The  water  line  of  all  piles  is,  as  is  well  known,  the  part  most 
liable  to  decay  ;  charring  is  found  to  some  extent  to  delay  this  decay. 

A     DICTIONARY     OF    SEA     TEEMS.  47 

Chart. — Roughly  speaking,  a  map  of  the  sea  hottom  and  coast 
projections,  for  the  use  of  navigators.  Any  person  intending  to 
cruise  round  the  coast  should  be  provided  with  charts,  and  should 
first  learn  to  read  them.  Fournier  ascribes  the  invention  of  sea- 
charts  to  Henry,  son  of  John,  King  of  Portugal. 

Charter-party. — A  contract  in  mercantile  law  between  the 
owner  of  a  ship  and  one  who  lures  part  or  the  whole  of  it  under 
specified  conditions. 

Chasse-marees. — The  coasting  and  fishing  vessels  of  the 
French  shores  of  the  Channel,  often  seen  in  our  own  ports.  They  are 
bluff  bowed  and  lugger  rigged,  with  one,  two,  or  three  masts,  often 
carrying  topsails. 

Cheat  the  devil. — Using  soft  expletives  where  strong  ones 
would  most  naturally  occur. 

Check. — Obviously  to  stop  or  impede  motion,  as  to  check  the 
anchor's  cable  from  veering  out.  But  the  word  is  more  frequently 
used  in  the  opposite  sense,  as  when  applied  to  a  rope  or  the  sheet  of 
a  sail,  it  will  mean  to  ease  it  off  or  let  it  go  a  little. 

Cheeks. — Generally  speaking,  brackets  or  stoppering  pieces  on 
a  spar  or  elsewhere.  Thus  the  knee  pieces  fastened  to  a  ship's  stem 
are  sometimes  called  cheeks.  On  a  mast  the  cheeks  are  brackets  a 
short  distance  below  the  mast-head,  and  upon  these  are  placed  the 
trestle,  trees,  which  support  the  cross-trees.  (See  Mast.)  The  cheeks 
of  a  block  are  the  two  sides  of  its  shell.  (See  Block.) 

Cheese-cutter. — A  form  of  centre-board.  (See  Centre-Board.) 

Chess-trees  (in  a  ship). — "  Two  small  pieces  of  timber  on  each 
side  of  it,  a  little  before  the  loof,  having  a  hole  iu  them,  through 
which  the  main  tack  runs,  and  to  which  it  is  haled  down."  (Bailey's 
Dictionary. )  Pieces  of  wood  bolted,  perpendicularly,  one  on  each 
side  of  the  deck  of  a  ship  and  bored  with  holes  on  the  upper  part. 
They  are  employed  to  hold  the  tack  of  a  square  mainsail  to  wind- 
ward, and  for  this  purpose  are  placed  as  far  before  the  mast  as  the 
length  of  the  main  beam,  the  tack  line  of  the  sail  passing  through 
the  holes. 

Chest-rope- — See  Guest-rope. 

Chimes. — The  intersection  of  the  lines  forming  the  sides  and  the 
bottom  of  a  flat-bottomed  boat. 

Chinckle. — A  small  bend  or  bight  in  a  line. 

Chine. — 1.  "That  part  of  the  waterway  which  is  left  above  the 
deck,  that  the  lower  seam  of  spirlcetting  may  more  conveniently  be 
caulked  "  (Falconer), — the  spirketting  being  the  strakes  on  the  ends 
of  the  beams.  2.  The  back  of  a  cliff ;  as  the  Black  Gang  Chine 
(Isle  of  Wight). 

To  chine  out. — To  hollow  out  slightly. 

Chips. — The  name  by  which  a  ship's  carpenter  is  often  spoken  of, 
and  hence  the  popular  phrase  "  a  chip  of  the  old  block." 

48  A    DICTIONARY     OF    SEA     TEEMS. 

Chock. — 1.  Any  nondescript  blocks  of  wood,  as  wedges  used  to 
prevent  anything  from  shifting  when  a  vessel  rolls,  or  as  rudder 
chocks  which  fix  a  rudder  in  case  of  emergency ,  , 

etc.  2.  The  pieces  used  in  filling  the  timbers  of 
a  vessel  to  its  planks,  i.e.,  filling  up  the  shape 
where  necessaiy  so  that  the  curves  of  the 
planking  shall  be  preserved.  (See  diagram 
under  Frame.) 

Chock-a-block — One  block  hauled  close  up 
to  another,  so  that  the  power  they  give  is 
destroyed  until  they  are  drawn  asunder  or 

Chow  chow. — A  popular  term  for  eat- 
ables ;  from  the  Chinese. 

Chuck. — Sometimes  called  a  fairlead  or 
lead/air.  A  guide  for  a  rope  or  chain,  over 
the  gunwale  of  a  boat.  It  is  most  usually 
of  metal :  in  yachts  sometimes  of  brass.  Chock-a-Block. 
Fairleads  are  of  different  forms;  but  any 
ring  or  eye-bolt  which  leads  a  rope  is  a  fairlead  (ichich  see). 

Cirrus. — The  cloud  called  "  mare's-tails. "  Seen  towards  evening 
it  often  portends  wind  to  follow,  especially  if  giving  the  appearance 
of  having  been  torn. 

Clamp. — On  a  boom,  the  cleat,  at  the  after  end,  through  which 
the  reef-pendants  are  passed,  when  reefing  the'  sail.  (See  under 

To  clamp,  in  carpentering  or  shipbuilding,  is  to  fix  two  pieces 
of  wood  together  by  a  mortise  or  a  groove  and  tongue,  so  that  the 
fibres  of  each  crossing  each  other  may  prevent  warping. 

Clap  OH. — To  put  on — as  to  clap  a  purchase  on  to  a  tackle.  Also 
spoken  of  men,  as  to  clap  several  hands  on  to  a  purchase. 

Clap  ier. — A  fitting  between  the  jaws  of  a  gaff  to  prevent  that 
from  jamming  as  it  descends  the  mast.    Sometimes  called  a  tumbler. 

Clasp  hook. — A  hook  which  clasps  a  ring,  or  stay,  or  rope.  It 
is  included  in  the  general  term  hank. 

Class.— The  class  of  a  boat  is  the  group  to  which  she  belongs,  as 
schooner,  yawl,  etc.  In  yacht  racing  it  is  the  group  in  which  she  is 
placed  after  measurement.  A  vessel  is  said  to  outclass  others  when 
she  is  very  much  superior  to  those  in  her  own  class. 

Clawing  off. — This  generally  presupposes  a  vessel  to  be  close  into 
or  being  driven  on  to  a  lee  shore,  and  the  act  of  getting  away  by 
sailing  her  as  close  to  the  wind  as  she  can  be  made  to  go  while  still 
keeping  good  way  on  is  called  clawing  off. 

Clean. — The  sharp  part  of  a  ship's  hull,  under  water,  both  for- 
ward and  aft. 

Clearing. — The  passing  of  a  vessel  through  the  Customs  after  ?' 
has  visited  a  foreign  port.     The  Board  of  Trade  directs  that 

A     DICTIONABY     OP    SEA     TEBMS. 



vessel,  after  visiting  a  foreign  port,  shall  report  herself  to  the  officers 
of  the  Customs,  at  the  first  British  port  she  enters.  As  a  signal  that 
she  has  been  abroad  she  must  fly  the  ensign  from  sunrise  to  sunset, 
and  expose  a  light  under  her  bowsprit  by  night,  until  she  has  been 

Clearing  hawse. — (See  under  HAWSE.) 

Cleat,  kevel,  or  cavil. — A  species  of 
hook,  usually  of  two  arms,  fastened  to 
the  deck  or  any  other  suitable  and  con- 
venient part  of  a  boat,  around  which 
sheets,  halyards,  springs,  etc.,  may  be 
wound  without  being  knotted.  Cleats  are 
of  various  forms,  as  will  be  seen  by  the 
figure.  They  are  required  to  sustain  great 
strains  and  sudden  jerks,  and  must,  there- 
fore, be  securely  fixed.  Where  several 
are  placed  close  together  they  are,  for 
additional  security,  fixed  to  a  strengthening 
plate,  or  plank,  which  is  called  a  rail.  A 
thumb-cleat  or  spur  is  a  small  wedge  let 
into  a  spar  to  prevent  a  rope  from  slipping  ; 
it  is  also  found  in  various  parts  of  the 
vessel.    (See  fig.,  also  Thumb  cleat.) 

Clench,  or  clinch. — 1.    To  jam  down. 

With  ropes. — To  jam  down  by  a  half 

2.  Clench  building. — Another  term  for 
clincher  building.     (See  BUILD.) 

Clew. — The  clew  is  the  lower  corner  of  a 
sail,  and  unless  otherwise  described  is  the  after  lower  corner;  but 
the  tack,  or  forward  corresponding  corner,  is  sometimes  called  the 
weather  clew.  This  will  apply  equally  to  square  or  fore-and-aft 
sails ;  but  in  square  sails  each  lower  cor  ner  is  a  clew,  and  each 
becomes  the  tack  (or  weather  clew)  alternately,  as  the  ship  comes 
about.  This,  however,  cannot  be  the  case  in  fore-and-aft  rig,  since 
the  forward  part  of  such  sails  always  remains  in  situ;  and  there- 
fore in  yachts  and  such  like  craft  the  clew  will  always  be  the  after 
lower  corner  of  the  sail,  and  though  the  tack  may  often  be  spoken 
of  as  the  "  weather  clew  "  it  still  always  remains  the  tack,  i.e.,  the 
forward  lower  corner. 

To  clew  up  is  to  gather  up  a  sail  by  its  clew-bines. 

Clew  garnets,  clew  lines. — On  square  sails  will  be  bines,  or  ropes, 
attached  to  the  clews,  i.e.,  to  the  lower  corners ;  from  thence  tney 
run  to  a  block  fastened  to  the  middle  of  the  yard.  On  the  lower 
sails,  or  "courses,"  as  these  are  termed,  these  same  lines  are  called 
'he  clew  garnets,  the  name  lines  being  only  appropriated  to  the  clew 

'°ts  of  the  topsails.     The  use  of  these  clew  lines,  or  garnets,  is  to 
up  the  clews  of  the  sails  to  the  middle  of  the  yards  so  that 


Various  Cleats. 



they  may  be  furled.  Clew  lines  in  fore-and-aft  rigged  vessels, 
sometimes  called  tripping  lines,  answer  much  the  same  purpose,  but 
they  will  naturally  be  differently  disposed.  The  clew  line  of  a  gaff 
topsail,  for  instance,  is  attached  to  the  clew  (i.e.,  the  after  lower 
corner),  passes  across  to  the  forward  end  of  the  topsail  yard,  and 
thence  down  on  deck  :  by  hauling  upon  it  the  topsail  is  then  clewed 
up  to  its  yard.     (See  fig.  under  TOPSAIL. ) 

A  great  clew. — When  square  sails  gore  outwards  towards  the  clew, 
that  is,  are  considerably  wider  at  the  foot  than  the  head,  they  are 
said  to  have  a  great  clew.  And  when  yards  are  very  long  so  that  the 
sails  are  more  than  usually  wide,  they  are  described  as  spreading  a 
great  clew. 

Clew  to  earing. — An  expression  which  describes  the  condition  of 
a  square  sail  when  the  foot  has  been  drawn  up  to  the  head,  i.e.,  the 
clew  to  the  earing. 

Click. — A  small  stopper,  or  pawl,  dropping  into  the  teeth  of  th© 
rack-wheel  of  a  windlass  to  prevent  the  wheel  from  running  backwards. 

Clincher,  clench,  or  lapstrake. — A  method  of  building  a 
boat  in  which  the  strakes  overlap.     (See  BUILD.) 

To  clinch. — To  jam  down — the  same  as  to  clench. 

Clip. — That  part  of  a  gaff  or  boom  which  is  fashioned  into  homs, 
or  jaws,  so  as  to  partly  encircle  a  mast.     (See  under  GAFF.) 

Clip-hooks  or  sail-hanks  (some- 
times called  sail-hooks). — A  com- 
bination of  two  hooks  jointed  to- 
gether to  face  each  other,  so  as 
to  clip  a  rope  on  each  side.  To 
keep  them  from  shaking  apart 
they  are  usually  moused  at  the 
neck.     (See  Mouse.) 

Sheet  clips. — Small  metal  im- 
plements fixed  to  the  deck  in  cer- 
tain sailing  boats  or  small  yachts 
(more  especially  those  intended 
for  single-handed  sailing)  to  take 
the  place  of  sheet  cleats.  A  rope 
being  passed  into  one  of  these  is 
firmly  gripped  until,  being  lifted, 
it  is  immediately  released. 

Close-hanled.— The  manner 
in  which  a  vessel's  sails  are  dis- 
posed when  she  is  sailing  as  close 
to  the  wind  (i.e.,  as  nearly  against  the  wind)  as  she  can  go  ;  e.g.,  in 
fore-and-aft  rig,  the  sheets  hauled  close,  and  in  square  rig  the  yard* 
braced  up,  the  sheets  well  home,  and  the  bowlines  hauled  taut.  So, 
therefore,  to  be  sailing  with  taut  bowline  is  to  be  close-hauled.  When 
thus  close-hauled  to  the  wind  a  boat  is  said  to  be  sailing  on  the  wind,  by 
the  wind,  or  full  and  by  the  wind,  and  if,  when  close-hauled,  she  carries- 


Various  Clips4 

A     DICTIONARY    OF     SEA     TERMS. 



a  lee-helm  she  is  said  to  be  hauling 
on  the  wind.   (See  under  Lee-helm.  ) 

Close-lined.— {See  Line.) 

Close  -  reefed.  —  When  all  the 
reefs  are  taken  in  so  that  the  area 
of  the  sails  may  be  as  small  as  pos- 
sible.    (See  fig. ;  also  under  Reef.  ) 

Close-winded. — A  boatis  some- 
times said  to  be  close- winded  when 
she  can  sail  very  close  to  the  wind. 

Cloth  (of  a  sail). — One  of  the 
strips  of  canvas  which  go  to  com- 
pose a  sail  is  so  called,     (See  Sail.) 

Clothe. — To  put  on  the  sails  and 
furniture  to  a  vessel ;  that  is  her 
masts,  rigging,  and  all  accessories. 
In  other  words,  to  fit  her  out. 

Clubbing.  —  Drifting  with  the 
tide  with  an  anchor  down  ; 
a  vessel  clubbing  will  there- 
fore be  taken  stern  first. 
This  method  of  dropping 
down  on  a  tide  is  only  em- 
ployed when  the  tide  runs 
very  strong,  and  it  is  neces- 
sary to  keep  the  boat  under 
command  of  the  rudder.  It 
may  be  seen  daily  at  Yar- 
mouth; the  sailing  wher- 
ries coming  in  from  the 
rivers  on  an  ebb  tide  drop 
their  anchors  short,  and  by 
this  means  club  down  to 
their  quays.  Without  some  £ 
such  method  of  opposing  ~~~-~^2 
the  strength  of  the  current, 
they  would  be  swept  past 
their  landing  places. 

Club-liaxiling. — "  In  navigation,  a  critical  mode  of  tacking, 
resorted  to  only  in  perilous  situations,  when  a  ship  has  no  other 
escape  from  running  ashore.  It  consists  in  letting  go  the  lee-anchor 
as  soon  as  the  wind  is  out  of  the  sails,  thereby  bringing  the  ship's 
head  to  wind.  She  will  then  pay  off,  when  the  cable  is  cut  and  the 
sails  are  trimmed.  By  this  process  the  tack  is  accomplished  in  a  far 
shorter  distance  than  it  could  otherwise  be."  (Brande  and  Cox.) 
In  the  last  volume  of  James'  Naval  History  (ed.  1837)  will  be 
found  an  account  of  the  club-hauling  of  H.M.S.  Magnificent  off  the 
coast  of  France  between  the  reef  of  Chasseron  and  the  Isle  de  lie, 

E  2 


52  A    DICTIONAKY    OF     SEA     TEEMS. 

during  a  south-westerly  gale.  Captain  Marryat,  in  his  "Peter 
Simple,"  mentions  club-hauling,  and  Peter  in  his  examination  says 
that  one  of  his  former  captains  performed  "the  hauling  business." 
The  operation,  with  a  sailing  yacht,  would  consist  of  paying  an 
anchor  out  astern  and  then  hauling  on  it  by  a  spring,  so  as  to  cast  off 
the  boat's  head. 

Clyde  lug.— [See  Lug.) 

Coach. — In  rowing,  one  who  teaches  a  crew,  or  prepares  them 
for  a  race. 

Coak,  or  bush.. — The  central  piece  of  the  sheave  of  a  block.  It  is 
usually  of  gun  metal  and  of  curious  form — this  being  to  prevent  its 
turning  in  the  sheave.  The  section  is  in  the  form  of  an  equilateral 
triangle,  upon  each  of  the  sides  of  which  a  semicircle  is  described  ; 
and  in  the  centre  it  is  bored  with 
a  hole  through  which  the  pin  runs. 

Coaming.  —  A  raised  edge  or 
planking  round  a  hatchway  or 
the  well  of  a  yacht.  Its  use  is 
to  prevent  any  water  which  may 
wash  over  the  deck  from  getting 
down  below,  and  to  effect  this 
properly  it  should  not  (except  in 
small  boats)  form  one  continuous 
wall  round  all  hatchways,  but  should  leave  the  spaces  between 
them  open,  so  that  water  shipped  may  run  off  to  leeward  instead  of 
being  allowed  to  come  aft. 

Coastguard.—"  A  semi-naval  organisation  of  seamen,  mostly 
living  along  the  shores  of  the  United  Kingdom,  intended  originally 
for  the  prevention  of  smuggling  ;  but  since  the  removal  of  prohibi- 
tive import  duties,  and  the  consequent  decrease  of  smuggling,  con- 
verted into  a  force  for  the  defence  of  the  coasts."  The  men  are  old 
men-of-war's  men  of  good  character,  liable  to  service  at  all  times. 
The  service  is  under  a  controller-general  having  rank  as  a  commodore. 

Coat. — A  coat  of  tar  or  paint  is  one  application  of  either. 

Cobbing. — "  A  punishment  sometimes  inflicted  at  sea.  It  is  per- 
formed by  striking  the  offender  a  certain  number  of  blows  on  the 
breech  with  a  flat  piece  of  Avood  called  the  cobbing-board." 

Coble.— An  open  boat  varying  in  form  according  to  locality. 
The  coble  of  the  Northumbrian  coast  is  a  boat  of  somewhat 
remarkable  appearance,  and  equally  remarkable  in  its  suitability  to 
the  work  demanded  of  it ;  it  sails  well,  rows  well  and  beaches  well, 
and  is  the  safest  boat  one  could  well  find.  The  following  is  the  de- 
scription of  it  as  given  by  Mr.  Davies  in  his  "  Boat  Sailing  for 
Amateurs  :"  "  The  bows  are  very  sharp,  and  very  high,  with  a 
great  sheer  to  throw  off  the  sea,  and  depth  to  give  lateral  resist- 
ance. The  sharp  bows  rapidly  fall  away,  until  all  the  after  portion 
of  the  boat  is  quite  flat  and  shallow.     The  keel,  which  commences 



Northumbrian  Coble. 

with  the  bow,  ends  amidships,  and  from  there  to  the  stern  are  two 
keels,  or  draughts,  one  each  side  of  the  flat  bottom.  The  stem  is 
very  raking,  and  the  rudder  projects  a  considerable  distance  below 
it,  as  shown  in  the  figure.  Thus  the  entire  lateral  resistance  of  the 
boat  is  given  by  the  deep  bow 
and  the  deep  rudder.  These 
boats  are  very  sensitive  to  any 
touch  of  the  helm  ;  they  will 
go  wonderfully  close  to  the 
wind,  and  at  a  perfectly  mar- 
vellous speed ;  their  sharp, 
flaring  bows  throw  off  any 
reasonable  sea,  and  altogether 
they  are  admirably  suited  for  %. 
the  work  which  they  have  to 
undergo.  Then,  when  they 
have  to  be  beached,  their 
bows  are  turned  to  the  sea,  the  rudder  is  unshipped,  and  the  boat 
backed  ashore,  where  she  sits  high  and  dry,  as  far  as  her  stern  is 
concerned. "  These  boats  are  usually  rigged  with  a  standing  or 
dipping  lug.  Cobles  are  also  employed  on  the  rivers  and  lakes  of 
Wales  and  the  borders. 

Coboose.— "  A  sort  of  box  or  house  to  cover  the  chimney  of  some 
merchant  ships.  It  somewhat  resembles  a  sentry-box,  and  generally 
stands  against  the  barricade  on  the  fore  part  of  the  quarter  deck. 
It  is  the  place  where  victuals  are  cooked  on  board  merchant  ships. " 
(Falconer.)  So,  in  the  modern  sense,  a  coboose,  or  caboose,  is  a 
sort  of  cook-house  on  the  deck  of  a  ship. 

Cock- — In  ancient  days  the  general  name  for  a  yawl. 

Cock-a-bill  or  a'cock-bill. — An  expression  signifying  that  an  anchor 
hangs  over  a  vessel's  sides  with  its  flukes  extended.     {See  ANCHOR.) 

Cock-boat. — An  old  name  for  a  small  boat  only  used  on  rivers  or 
smooth  waters. 

Cock-pit. — 1.  In  old  battle  ships,  the  cockpit  was  the  after  portion 
of  the  lowest  deck,  and  in  frigates  was  assigned  to  the  use  of  the 
midshipmen.  2.  In  yachts  it  is  the  lower  part  of  the  well.  3.  In 
sailing  boats,  the  open  space  in  the  deck.  In  the  two  latter  cases, 
however,  the  word  well  is  more  frequently  used. 

Cockle  shell. — A  term  used  to  describe  a  small  or  very  bight  boat, 
which  is  supposed  to  be  no  safer  on  the  waters  than  a  cockle  shell. 

Code  signals. — A  collection  of  signs  or  symbols  reduced  to  an 
orderly  arrangement  and  made  use  of  by  vessels  at  sea  or  from 
stations  ashore.  There  is  now  an  international  nautical  code  made 
general  use  of  by  three  methods, — vjz. ,  flags,  long  distance  signals, 
and  the  semaphore  ;  and  besides  this  code  there  are  various  others 
less  commonly  employed,  and  others,  again,  used  by  individuals  or 
by  shipping  companies,  called  private  codes.  For  a  description  of 
the  signals  employed  in  the  International  Code  see  under  SIGNALS. 

54  A     DICTIONABY    OP     SEA     TEBMS. 

Coil. — 1.  (In  commerce.) — A  coil  of  rope  is  a  certain  quantity  (113 
fathoms).  2.  (On  shipboard.) — A  coil  is  a  heap  of  rope  coiled  up. 
3.  To  coil  rope  is  to  lay  it,  or  make  it  up,  in  a  series  of  coils  or 
rings ;  and  this,  with  ordinary  rope,  is  done  in  the  direction  of  the 
hands  of  the  clock.  The  hollow  space  in  the  middle  is  called  the  tier. 
One  circle  is  a.  fake. 

Flemish  coil. — To  coil  a  rope  in  fanciful  patterns. 

Collapsable  boat. — A  boat  which  for  convenience  of  taking  it 
on  board  a  small  vessel  is  capable  of  being  folded  up  into  a  small 
space.  Several  forms  of  these  boats  have  been  invented  from  time 
to  time,  but  none  have  come  into  general  use.  The  Berthon  is, 
perhaps,  most  used.  Mr.  Davies,  in  his  "  Boat  Sailing  for 
Amateurs, "  describes  one  or  two  of  these. 

Collar  Knot.— (See  Knots.  ) 

Collier. — A  vessel  employed  in  the  coal  trade. 

Collision. — When  two  vessels  collide  they  are  said  to  be  in 
collision;  and  the  same  term  is  employed  in  the  past  sense,  as  "  they 
were  in  collision."  The  Board  of  Trade  issue  instructions  for  the 
Prevention  of  Collisions  at  Sea  ;  and  these  constitute  that  which  is 
popularly  called  the  Rule  of  the  Road  (which  see). 

Comb,  or  comb-cleat. — A  small  wooden  board  through  which 
ropes  are  passed  to  be  led  fair.     (See  Cleat.) 

Come. — A  word  used  at  sea  under  various  circumstances,  as 
"  The  anchor  comes  horned  i.e.,  it  drags.  A  ship  is  said  to  come  to 
when  she.  luffs  right  up  into  the  wind  or  stops  in  a  certain  spot. 
So  also,  when  she  comes  round  in  tacking,  she  is  said  to  have  come 
about.  And  the  order  in  sailing  to  come  no  nearer  will  mean  that 
she  is  not  to  be  brought  too  close  to  the  wind,  to  impress  which 
meaning  upon  the  mind  of  the  beginner  the  French  equivalent, 
"  Pas  au  vent,"  is,  perhaps,  more  explicit.  To  come  up  the  fall 
(rope)  of  a  tackle,  is  to  slacken  the  rope.  To  come  up  the  capstan  is 
to  let  it  go  a  contraiy  way  to  that  in  hauling  up,  and  is,  therefore, 
to  slacken  it.  To  come  up  with  another  vessel,  or  some  landmark, 
is  to  overtake  or  pass  it. 

Commander. — In  the  Koyal  Navy  an  officer  holding  a  position 
between  the  captain  and  the  lieutenant. 

Commodore. — The  senior  captain  of  a  squadron  when  there  is 
no  admiral  present.  The  elected  head  of  a  yachting  club  is  usually 
called,  by  compliment,  the  commodore  of  that  club. 

Common  bend.— (See  Knot.) 

Companion. — Properly  the  covering  over  a  ladder  or  staircase 
in  a  ship  ;  but  the  ladder  itself  is  popularly  called  the  companion. 

Compass. — An  instrument  which,  by  means  of  a  magnetised 
bar,  indicates  the  magnetic  meridian.  The  disc  or  face  of  the 
mariner's  compass  consists  of  a  circular  card,  sometimes  trans- 
parent, the  circumference  of  which  is  divided  into  32  parts,  called 
points.     These  points  may  be  again  divided  into   two,  each  division 



being  a  half-point,  and  these  again  into  quarter-points.  Thus  there 
are  32  points  in  the  compass,  and  between  eacli  are  half  and  quarter 
points.  Each  point  is  named  and  marked  on  the  card  with  the 
initial  letters  of  its  name,  as  N.  for  North,  N.  by  E.  for  North 
by  East,  N.N.E.  for  North  North-East,  N.E.  for  North-East, 
and  so  on.  The  cardinal  points  are  North,  South,  East,  and 
West :  these  cut  the  card  into  four  quarters,  and  each  quarter 
is  divided  into  8  points,  the  whole  32  being  as  follow : — 

North  opposite  to  South 

North  by  East  „        „  South  by  West 

North  North-east  „        „  South  South-west 

North-east  by  North        „        „     South-west  by  South 

North-east  „        „  South-west 

North-east  by  East  „        „      South-west  by  West 

East  North-east  „        „  West  South-west 

East  by  North  „        „  West  by  South 

East  „        „  West 

East  by  South  „        „  West  by  North 

East  South-east  „        „  West  North-west 

South-east  by  East  „        „      North-west  by  West 

South-east    '  „        „  North-west 

South-east  by  South        ,,        „     North-west  by  North 

South  South-east  „        „  North  North-west 

South  by  East  „        „  North  bv  West 

South  „  North 

Repeating  these  points,   with  their  opposite  equivalents,  in  the 

order  above  given,  is  called  boxing  the  compass,  and  is  required  in 

some  examinations.     Then,  however,  the  half-points  are  often  asked, 

rendering  the  repetition  somewhat  more  tedious.     But  the  student 

will  be  astonished  to  find  how  quickly  he  will  master  this  task  when 

once  taken  in  hand.     The  manner  of  pronouncing  the  names  of  the 

points  is  as  follows  : — 

Nor'east  (or  west)  ...  Sow-west  (or  east) 

Nor'  Nor '-east  (or  west)      ...      Sow  Sow -west  (or  east) 
Nor'-east  b'  east  (or  west)... Sow-west  b'  west  (or  east) 
In  boxing  the  compass  with  the  half-points  : — 

North  £  East  is  opposite  South  i  West 

North  by  East  \  East  „        „    South  by  West  |  West 
West  £  North  „        „  East  $  South 

North-west  £  North      „        „  South-east  £  South 

and  so  on  from  North  to  East  and  thence  to  South. 

Tt  has  been  stated  that  the  dial  of  the  compass  is  a  card  upon 
which  the  points  are  marked.  The  north  point  is  always  to 
be  distinguished  at  a  glance  by  a  large  arrow  head.  This  card 
is  fixed  to  an  iron  bar  or  needle  laid  exactly  in  the  line  mark- 
ing north  and  south,  one  end  of  it  having  been  previously  magnet- 
ized. It  is  then  eitber  balanced  on  a  pin  or  floated  in  spirit  in  a 
semi-globular  basin ;  this  basin,  by  an  arrangement  of  two  rings, 



called  gimbals,  set  at  right  angles,  and  one  working  within  the 
other — being  so  contrived  that  whatever  position  the  ship  may 
assume  it  always  keeps  the  horizontal.  But  it  does  not  revolve  : 
the  card  revolves,  but  the  case,  though  always  horizontal,  retains  the 
same  position  with  respect  to  the  keel  line  of  the  vessel.  Upon  the 
inside  of  the  basin,  and  in  a  line  with  the  keel  (or,  in  other  words, 
directly  in  a  line  with  the  head  and  stern  of  the  vessel),  is  made  a 
distinct  line  or  mark,  called  the  lubber's  line  (see  diagram  under 
Lubber)  :  and  it  is  by  this  mark  that  the  vessel  is  steered.  For  if 
the  ship  be  moving  due  north  the  lubber's  line  will  exactly  meet  the 
arrow  head  on  the  dial  of  the  compass.  But  if  her  head  be  turned 
easterly,  the  lubber's  line  will  travel  round  the  dial  until  it  meets 
the  letter  E.  So  also,  if  she  be  turned  south-east,  the  lubber's  line 
will  reach  the  S.E.,  and  finally,  if  she  be  steered  due  south,  the 
lubber's  line  will  have  moved  half  round  the  compass,  stopping  at 
the  S.  or  southern  point  on  the  disc.  The  lubber's  line  represents, 
therefore,  the  ship's  head ;  and 
at  whatever  point  it  stops  on 
the  compass  card,  in  that  direc- 
tion will  the  ship  be  moving. 
It  is  necessary  to  state, 
however,  though  without 
entering  into  any  discussion 
on  the  theory  of  magnetic 
attraction,  that  the  needle 
does  not  actually  point  due 
north.  Not  only  may  it  be 
attracted  by  any  mass  of  iron 
brought  close  to  it,  but  in 
different  latitudes  its  direc- 
tion varies.  In  iron  ships 
there  is  always  a  counter  at- 
traction to  be  overcome,  the 
amount  of  which  varies  ac- 
cording to  their  position  (N. 
and  S.  or  E.  and  W.)  when 
building,  and  indeed  in  every 

ship  the  compass  has  always  to  be  tested  and  corrected  before 
starting  on  a  voyage.  This  variation  of  a  ship's  compass  from 
the  time  magnetic  meridian  is  called  the  deviation  of  the  compass, 
and  the  methods  of  dealing  with  this  form  almost  a  science  in 
itself.  Those  who  would  know  more  of  the  subject  may  be  referred 
to  Lloyds'  "Seaman's  Almanac."  The  casein  which  a  deck  compass 
is  set,  with  its  box  and  pedestal,  constitute  that  which  is  known  as 
a  binnacle.  A  binnacle  does  not  affect  the  compass  because  the  same 
attraction  is  exerted  all  round,  and,  moreover,  because  it  is  sur- 
rounded by  bars  of  iron  which  counteract  each  other's  influence  ; 
but  small  compasses,  as  used  in  boats  or  yachts,  are  very  liable  to 
be  deviated  by  any  iron  or  steel  which  may   be  brought  too  near 

Mariner's  Compass. 

A     DICTIONARY    OF     SEA     TEEMS.  57 

them,  and  they  should  be  kept  as  free  as  possible  from  all  such 

It  may  be  well,  in  conclusion,  to  remind  the  novice  that 
whenever  a  compass  is  placed  on  board  a  boat,  its  lubber's  line, 
or  whatever  may  take  the  place  of  a  lubber's  line  (such  as  the 
handle  of  the  compass),  should  be  set  exactly  fore-and-aft,  that 
is  in  the  same  bine  as  the  keel. 

A  small  compass  hanging  or  fixed  to  the  ceiling  of  a  cabin  on  ship- 
board is  called  a  tell-tale.  By  it  the  captain  can  see  the  course  of 
the  ship  without  going  on  deck. 

Composite. — A  system  of  building  large  ships  with  an  iron 
framing  and  wood  skin.  It  was  brought  in  soon  after  the  construc- 
tion of  ships  with  iron  was  begun,  and  admitted  of  great  strength 
l>eing  attained,  and  the  possibility  of  copper  sheathing,  which  on  an 
iron  hull  is  impossible.  It  was  hoped  by  this  means  to  obtain  a 
vessel  with  the  strength  of  an  iron  ship  and  the  freedom  from  foul- 
ing of  a  wooden  ship ;  but  experience  has  shown  that  the  wasting 
of  the  iron  from  the  effects  of  galvanic  action  between  the  copper 
and  the  iron  fastenings  renders  the  system  almost  impracticable. 
Large  yachts  are  still,  however,  built  in  this  manner. 

Coil,  conning  (sometimes  pronounced  "  cun  ").  —  To  direct  a 
steersman.  A  person  who  directs  the  helmsman  of  a  ship  how  to  keep 
her  head  is  said  to  be  conning  the  ship.  Thus  on  men-of-war  we  find 
a  conning  tower,  which  is  a  sort  of  elevated  deck  house,  containing 
the  compass,  and  from  which  a  good  look-out  may  be  obtained. 

Conservators  of  the  Thames. — "  A  body  of  modern  crea- 
tion representing  the  Imperial  Government,  the  City  of  London, 
and  the  commercial  interests  of  the  river,  and  exercising  the  general 
powers  of  harbour  and  conservancy  board  over  the  lower  river  and 
estuary,  as  well  as  those  of  conservancy  on  the  upper  river  as  far  as 
Cricklade."  The  office  of  the  Thames  Conservancy  is  on  the  Thames 
Embankment,  Blackfriars  Bridge. 

Copper. — This  is  the  best  material  wherewith  to  preserve  the 
lx)ttom  of  a  boat  from  the  attacks  of  barnacles,  etc.,  as  well  as  from 
the  action  of  the  water  ;  and  a  boat  covered  or  "  sheathed  "  witli  it 
is  called  copper  bottomed.  It  is  customary  in  the  case  of  yachts  to 
wait,  before  doing  this,  until  the  vessel  is  a  year  or  two  old,  as 
copper  is  found  to  rot  the  skin  of  a  new  boat,  besides  which  the 
timber  has  a  tendency  for  the  first  few  months  to  swell  or  "  grow," 
while  the  copper  remains  the  same.  The  principal  action  of  the 
water  being  at  the  water  line,  some  boats  are  coppered  only  round 
that  part,  at  a  considerable  saving  of  expense.  Intending  purchasers 
of  boats  should  remember  this,  and  make  careful  examination  befora 
buying,  for  it  is  occasionally  the  practice  of  dishonest  people  to 
describe  a  boat  thus  sheathed  as  copper  bottomed.  As  a  substi- 
tute for  copper,  Muntz  metal  (which  see)  answers  well,  and  there  are 
various  paints  sold  which  also  profess  to  preserve  ships'  bottoms. 
Nothing,  however,  is  so  useful  for  wooden  vessels  as  copper. 


A     DICTIONARY    OF     SEA     TEEMS. 

Welsh  Coraclk 

Coracle. — A  small  boat  originally  used  in 
fresh  water  fishing.  Its  origin  dates  hack 
prohahly  to  pre-historic  times.  In  Wales  and 
the  West  of  England  it  is  still  used,  heing 
made  of  wicker,  covered  with  leather,  and 
carried  by  the  fishermen  upon  their  hacks. 

Corinthian. — This  word  has  come  to  mean 
amateur.  The  Corinthian  Yacht  Club  was 
originally  founded  as  a  down  -  river  branch 
of  the  London  Rowing  Club  ;  its  object  being 
the  same  as  that  of  other  clubs,  viz.,  the  en- 
couragement of  yacht  and  boat  sailing  by 
amateurs.  Its  headquarters  are  at  Erith,  but 
is  has  also  a  very  flourishing  branch  at  Burn- 
ham-on-Crouch  and  is  known  as  the  Royal 
Corinthian  Yacht  Club. 

Cork  jacket.  —  A   waistcoat    or     jacket 
made  of  a  number  of  corks  or  pieces  of  cork,  completely  encircling 
the  body,  as  a  preservation  against  drowning.     No  boat  should  be 
without  some  sort  of  life  preserving  belt.     (See  Life  Belt.  ) 

Corsair. — A  name  given  in  certain  parts  of  Europe  to  a  pirate, 
or  his  vessel.  Corsairs,  for  centuries  the  dread  of  the  Mediterranean 
coast,  have  existed  there  almost  to  the  present  day.  They  may,  in 
fact,  be  said  to  still  exist,  as  the  attack  upon  the  racing  yacht 
Ailsa,  on  her  homeward  passage  from  the  south  of  France  in  1895, 
may  serve  to  show. 

Corvette. — One  of  the  smaller  vessels  of  war  :  the  name  is  a  relic 
of  the  days  of  wooden  ships. 

Counter. — An  extension  of  a  vessel's  body  beyond  her  stem-post, 
or,  in  other  words,  that  part  of  her  which  projects  beyond  the  stern- 
post.  In  many  instances  the  counter  is  purely  ornamental,  having 
no  actual  use,  while  some  go  so  far  as  to  say  that  it  is  materially 
detrimental  to  buoyancy.  In  some  vessels,  however,  it  becomes 
almost  a  necessity,  as,  for  instance, 
in  cutters  ;  for  without  it  there 
would  be  no  means  of  getting  at 
the  reef  pendant,  while  it  is  also 
useful  in  a  yawl  for  manipulating 
the  mizzen. 

Counter-stay. — One  or  more  small 
timbers  or  stays  projecting  aft  of 
the  stern-post  of  a  vessel  to  take  the 
weight  of  the  counter.  They  are,  of 
course,  with  in  the  counter  and  unseen. 

CowntersunJc. — Bolt  heads  are  often 
countersunk  in  the  same  way  as  the  head  of  an  ordinary  screw  (see  fig. ) 
so  that  they  may  not  protrude  beyond  the  surfaces  they  hold  down. 
The  shackle  pins  of  anchor  cables  are  also  countersunk.  (See  CABLE.) 

couei  tcssunk 




Course- — The  course  of  a  vessel  at  sea  has  been  thus  described  : 
"  The  angle  which  the  ship's  track  makes  with  all  the  meridians 
between  the  place  left  and 
the  place  arrived  at."  In 
a  more  homely  meaning  it 
is  the  direction  in  which 
a  ship  travels ;  thus  her 
course  is  N.E.  when  she 
is  moving  in  a  north- 
easterly direction. 

The  courses,  in  a  square 
rigged  vessel,  are  those 
square  sails  which  hang 
from  the  lower  masts. 
Thus  in  a  full  rigged 
ship  the  main,  fore,  and 
mizzen  sails  will  be  the 
courses  ;  the  bark  is  without  the  mizzen  course;  the  barkentine  has 
but  the  fore  course. 

Cove. — A  small  creek,  inlet,  or  bay. 

Coxswain  (pronounced  "cox'un  "). — The  steersman  of  a  boat. 
In  rowing  language  he  is  usually  spoken  of  as  the  "  cox."  His 
position  is  one  of  responsibility,  for  during  his  office  he  has  command 
of  the  boat ;  and  that  his  orders  should  be  implicitly  obeyed  stands 
to  reason,  for  the  backs  of  all  the  rowers  are  turned  in  the  direction 
in  which  they  are  moving.  It  is  not  safe,  therefore,  except  on 
open  and  uncrowded  waters,  to  put  the  tiller  or  rudder  lines  into 
the  hands  of  any  but  an  experienced  person,  and  once  there  it  is 
equally  unsafe  and  foolish  for  any  among  the  crew  to  interfere  with 
him.  The  neglect  of  these  simple  though  essential  precautions  has 
led  to  the  unnecessary  loss  of  more  than  one  life. 

Crab. — 1.  A  small  capstan.  It  consists  of  ten  of  little  more  than  a 
pillar  with  two  or  three  small  whelps  (upright  pieces)  about  it  to  pre- 
vent the  rope  from  slipping.  The  small  windlasses  by  which  bathing 
machines  are  drawn  vip  on  a  beach  are 
sometimes  called  crabs.  Falconer  de- 
scribes a  crab  as  a  sort  of  capstan,  worked 
by  bars  like  a  large  capstan, but  with  the 
bars  passing  through  the  head  instead 
of  being  merely  inserted  as  with  the 
larger  machines.  2.  Another  engine 
called  a  crab  is  a  lever  of  wood,  having 
3laws  at  the  working  end,  and  used  in 
the  launching  of  vessels. 

Crab-boat. — 1.  A  boat  used  in  crab 
fishing.  2.  An  open  sailing  boat  at 
one  time  common  on  the  coast  of  Nor- 
folk— hence  called  the  Crorner crab-boat.  Cromer  Crab- boat. 

— / 

60  A    DICTIONARY    OP    SEA     TERMS. 

A  description  of  it  is  given  by  Mr.  Christopher  Davies  in  his  "  Boat 
Sailing  for  Amateurs." 

To  catch  a  crab. — An  acci- 
dent which  may  occur  in  row- 
ing. It  consists  in  failing  to 
catch  the  water  with  the  oar, 
and,  by  the  violence  of  the 
effort,  falling  backwards. 
The  "  art  "  is  naturally  more 
practised  by  beginners,  but  is 
not  confined  to  them,  for  the 

catching   of  a  crab  has   lost  Catching  a  Crab. 

many  a  trained  crew  a  race. 

Cradle- — I.  Blocks  or  beams  of  wood  placed  so  that  a  boat  may 
stand  on  shore.  2.  A  frame  used  in  the  launching  of  a  vessel  for 
sending  her  gently  down  into  the  water. 

Craft. — A  general  term  applied  by  sea-faring  men  to  any  collec- 
tion of  small  decked  vessels.  Though  the  term  is,  properly  speaking, 
one  of  multitude,  it  is  often  used  in  the  singular  number.  Thus 
"  river  craft  "  means  those  vessels,  generally,  which  navigate  a  river ; 
while  the  phrase  "  a  nice  little  craft  "  is  spoken  in  admiration  of  a 
single  boat. 

Crank,  or  cranky. — A  vessel  is  said  to  be  crank  when  she  fails 
in  the  quality  called  stiffness  {which  sec),  or,  in  other  words,  when 
she  careens  over  to  a  large  extent  in  a  light  breeze,  and,  therefore, 
cannot  carry  much  sail ;  or  when ,  from  want  of  ballast,  she  is  in 
danger  of  overturning. 

Cranse-iron. — A  cap  or  ring  at  the  end  of  a  bowsprit,  usually 
made  with  several  eyes  round  it.  The  ring  prevents  the  spar  from 
splitting  and  the  eyes  take  the  blocks  through  which  pass  the  bob-stay 
and  topmast-forestay  and  bowsprit-shrouds.     {See  under  BOWSPRIT. ) 

Crawl. — A  place  in  which  to  confine  fish,  etc.    (French,  bordigue.) 

Creasote,  or  kreasote. — A  heavy  oil,  apparently  closely 
related  to  carbolic  acid ;  it  possesses  peculiar  antiseptic  and  pre- 
servative qualities,  and  is  made  use  of  in  various  ways.  Wood 
steeped  in  it  is  preserved  both  by  the  exclusion  of  air  and  by  the 
destruction  of  organic  impurities.  It  is  a  poison  when  undiluted, 
but  when  largely  diluted  it  is  occasionally  used  in  medicine. 

Creek. — An  inlet  on  the  coast  or  in  a  river  up  which  the  tide 
runs.  In  some  cases,  estuaries  or  small  rivers,  when  resorted  to 
as  havens  by  small  craft,  are  called  creeks. 

Creel.— {See  Kreel.) 

Creeper. — A  term  sometimes  given  to  a  sort  of  grapnel  {ivhich  see). 

Crew. — The  crew  of  a  vessel  consists  of  all  those  who  are  on 
board  for  the  purpose  of  navigating  her.     {See  also  All-told.) 

Crimp. — One  of  those  agents  who,  before  the  establishment  of 
Sailors'  Homes,  used  to  take  seamen  in,  board  them,  find  them 
ships,  and  finally  rob  them  of  their  all.     There  are  some  still  left. 






Cringles. — Loops  or  eyes,  formed  in  the 
bolt  ropes  of  sails.  Through  them  ropes  are 
passed  so  as  to  gather  up  the  margins  of  the 
sail ;  and  to  them  pendants  are  hung  for  tying 
down  the  sail  in  reefing.  In  fore-and-aft 
rigged  craft  they  are  found  in  the  lower 
portion  of  the  leech  of  a  main  or  mizzen 
sail  for  passing  short  lanyards  in  reefing, 
and  are  then  called  reef  cringles.  If  the 
ropes  are  left  permanently  in  these  cringles, 
as  is  sometimes  the  case,  they  are  called  reef 
pendants;  while  ropes  hanging  from  the  head 
of  a  sail  (more  particularly  of  a  square  sail) 
are  called  earings.  Iron  cringles  are  some- 
times called  hanks. 

Cromer  crab  boat. — (See  under  Crab.) 

Cross-jack  yard  (pronounced  "  crojek  " 
or  "crotched"). — In  full  rigged  ships,  the 
lowest  yard  on  the  mizzen  mast.  (See  under 
Jack  and  Yard.) 

Cross-jack  sail. — The  sail  bent  (attached) 
to  the  cross-jack ;  being  of  little  service  it 
is  not  much  used. 

Cross -pawls  (in  shipbuilding). — Pieces 
of  timber  which  keep  the  sides  of  avessel  together  whilst  in  her  frames. 

Cross-piece. — A  piece  of  wood  or  iron  crossing  another.  Thus 
the  piece  which  crosses  the  bitts  of  a  bowsprit  is  called  the  cross- 
piece  or  crossbitt.     (See  Bowsprit.) 

Cross-trees. — The  arms  extending,  near  the  head  of  a  mast,  at 
right  angles  to  the  length  of  the  vessel,  and  to  the  extremities  of 
which  the  topmast-shrouds  are  stretched  for  the  purpose  of  giving 
support  to  the  topmast.  Cross-trees  may  be  of  iron  or  wood,  and  in 
one  piece  or  two.  Many  topsail-barges  have 
them  folding  upwards,  for  convenience  in  lower- 
ing the  mast  for  up-river  work.  They  are  then 
sometimes  called  jack  cross-trees.  For  the 
manner  of  fixing  cross-trees  to  the  mast  see 
under  Mast  and  Trestle  Trees. 

Crotches  (in  shipbuilding).  —  1.  Timbers 
placed  upon  the  keel  in  the  forward  and  after 
parts  of  a  vessel,  where  her  form  grows  narrower. 
2.    Supports  for  a  boom.     (See  CRUTCH.) 

Crow. — An  iron  lever. 

Crowfoot. — A  radiation  of  many  small  ropes 
from  one,  used  in  securing  awnings,  etc.  (see  fig.). 

Crowd. — To  set  an  extraordinary  force  of  sail  is  said  to  be 
crowding  on  sail. 

Crown. — Of  an  anchor.     (See  Anchor.) 



A     DICTIONABY     OF     SEA     TEEMS. 


Cruise. — A  voyage  within  moderate  limits,  either 
of  pleasure,  as  in  a  yacht,  or  of  business,  as  with  a 
fleet,  when  it  goes  out  for  some  special  purpose. 

Cruiser.—  A  boat  which  is  intended  for  cruising;  with 
yachts  the  word  is  used  in  contradistinction  to  racers. 

Crutch. — A  trestle  supporting  the  boom  of  a  fore- 
and-aft  sail  when  at  rest  (see  tig.).  Its  use  is  to  take 
the  weight  of  the  boom  off  the  halyards.  Its  place  is 
sometimes  taken  by  a  prop  called  the  mitehboard 
(which  see).  Metal  rowlocks  are  occasionally  called 

Cuddy. — 1.  On  shipboard,  a  small  cabin ;  some- 
times the  cook-house  on  deck.  2.  In  a  half-decked 
boat  the  space  enclosed  is  occasionally  called  the 

Cunningham's  topsails. — A  modified  form  of 
double  topsails,  employed  in  square  rigged  ships  since 
their  introduction  by  Cunningham.  (See  Double 
Topsails.  ) 

Currents. — Running  movements  in  the  waters, 
often  partially  independent  of  the  tides.  There  are 
currents  along  every  coast  and  in 
every  river.  Those  of  his  own 
locality  should  be,  to  some  extent, 
known  by  anyone  who  would  become 
a  good  sailsman. 

Customs  regulations.  —  (See 

Cut. — To  cut  a  sail. — To  unfurl 
and  let  it  fall  down. 

To  cut  a  feather. — To  make  the 
foam  fly  as  when,  with  the  speed 
of  the  snip,  it  curls  itself  into  some- 
thing like  the  form  of  a  feather. 

Cutting  down  line.  —  "A  curve 
line  used  by  shipwrights  in  the 
delineation  of  ships ;  it  determines 
the  thickness  of  all  the  floor- 
timbers,  and  likewise  the  height 
of  the  deadwood  afore  and  abaft. 
It  is  limited  in  the  middle  of  the 
ship  by  the  thickness  of  the  floor 
timber,  and  abaft  by  the  breadth  of 
the  kelson ;  and  must  be  carried  up 
so  high  upon  the  stern  as  to  leave 
sufficient  substance  for  the  breeches 
of  the  rising   timbers."    (Falconer's  tL 

Dictionary. )  Fig.  l  (see  page  64). 

A     DICTIONAEY     OF     SEA     TERMS. 


Cutlass. — A  short  sword  used  by  men-of-war's  men. 
Cutter.—"  Sooner  or  later,"  says  Mr.  Christopher  Davies,  in  his 
work  on  "  Boat  Sailing  for  Amateurs,"  "  everyone  in  whom  the  love 

of  sailing  remains,  will,  if  his  means  and  opportunities  permit,  go  in 
for  cutter-sailing  on  the  deep  blue  sea.  The  cutter  is  the  national 
rig,  and  it  is  in  an  all-round  way  the  best,  as  it  is  certainly  the 


A    DICTIONARY     OP     SEA     TEEMS. 

prettiest."  1.  The  cutter  has  but  one  mast  (the  main),  and  under 
ordinary  circumstances  spreads  but  four  sails,  main  and  top-sails, 
foresail  and  jib  ;  and  occasionally  she  adds  another,  the  jib  topsail. 
But  when  racing  her  spread  of  canvas  is  much  increased  ;  an  enormous 
balloon  jib  takes  the  place  of  the  everyday  headsails  for  reaching, 
while  for  running  she  may  carry  no  less  than  four  sails  on  her  mast 
alone  ;  though  it  must  be  notecl  that  this  full  complement  of  press- 
canvas,  as  it  is  called,  is  very  seldom  seen.  (See  diagram  under 
Balloon  Canvas.)  The  cutter  differs  from  the  sloop  in  the  rigging 
of  the  bowsprit  and  fore-stays.  In  the  cutter  the  fore-stay  comes 
down  to  the  stem-head  of  the  vessel,  and  the  bowsprit  is  reeving 
(moveable).  In  the  sloop  the  fore-stay  runs  to  the  end  of  the  bow- 
sprit, which  is  fixed:  the  fore-stay  then  changes  its  name,  and 
becomes  known  as  the  jib-stay  (see  fig.  1,  p.  62).  This  difference  is 
further  commented  upon  under  the  heading  Sloop.  The  principal 
parts  of  a  cutter -yacht  are  as  follow  (fig.  2)  :  (1.)  Keel.  (2.)  Stem- 
post.  (3.)  Stern-post.  (4.)  Rudder.  (5.)  Channels.  (6.)  Bowsprit. 
(7.)  Bowsprit  bitts.  (8.)  Masthead  with  cap  and  yoke,  trestle-tree, 
and  cross-tree.  (9.)  Topmast  hounds.  (10.)  Truck.  (11.)  Shrouds.  (12.) 
Topmast  shrouds,  terminating  in  the  legs.  (13.)  Backstays.  (14.) 
Boom.  (15.)  Gaff,  the  upper  end  of  which  is  the  peak.  (16.)  Topsail 
yard.  (17.)  Topmast  fore-stay.  On  the  main  sail  are  the  reef  bands, 
upon  which  hang  the  reef  points,  and  at  their  extremities  the  reef 
cringles,  through  which  pendants  are  rove  as  at  18.  (19.)  Topping 
lift.     (20.)  Peak  lines  or  flag  halyards.     (21.)  Topsail  clew  line. 

2.  Cutter. — A  row  boat  attached  to  a  man-of-war. 

3.  Cutter  (in  rowing  matches). — A  boat  which  follows  the  com- 
petitors. They  often  follow  important  sculling  matches,  carrying 
the  trainers  or  coaches  of  the  competitors,  each  of  whom  is  allowed, 
under  certain  restrictions,  to  direct  the  progress  of  bis  man.  In 
such  a  case  the  boat  used  as  cutter  is  usually  an  eight-oar. 

Cutter  stay  fashion. — The  method  of  turning  in  a  deadcye  with 
the  end  of  the  shroud  down.     (See  diagram  under  Deadeyes.) 

Catting  his  painter. — Making  off  hurriedly — a  slang  term. 

Cnt-water. — That  portion  of  the  stem  of  a  vessel  which  cleaves 
the  water  as  she  moves.     (See  fig.  under 


Dabcliick. — A  sporting  term  for  a 
modern  racing  sail-boat  of  the  smallest 

Dandy. — A  small  mizzen  sail  is  often 
thus  called :  it  is  usually  triangular  (see  fig. ) 
A  boat  setting  this  or  any  such  small  mizzen 
is  sometimes  called  "dandy- rigged." 



k     DICTIONARY     OP     SEA     TEEMS. 



Davit. — A  light  crane  on  a  ship's  sides  for  lower- 
ing and  lifting  boats.  The  projecting  beam  over 
which  the  anchor  is  hoisted  is  also  sometimes  called 
a  davit.     (See  fig.  ;  also  under  Fish.) 

Davy  Jones. — The  spirit  of  the  sea. 

Davy  Jones'  locker. — The  bottom  of  the  sea,  because 
that  is  the  receptacle  of  all  things  thrown  overboard. 
And  those  who  have  been  buried  at  sea  are  said  to 
have  gone  to  Davy  Jones's  locker. 

Dead. — A  term  variously  used  at  sea  and  in  ship- 
building.    Thus  in  sailing  : 

Dead  calm. — A  calm  in  which  the  surface  of  the 
sea  is  not  agitated. 

Dead  head. — Any  large  block  used  as  an  anchor 

Dead  horse. — The  completion  of  labour  which  had 
been  paid  for  in  advance  used  sometimes  to  be  hailed 
by  seamen,  by  dragging  a  dead  horse,  or  something 
made  to  resemble  it,  round  the  ship  and  then  swing- 
ing it  out  on  the  yard  arm. 

Dead  peg. — A  dead  peg  to  windward  is  making 
progress  dead  in  the  teeth  of  the  wind.     (See  Beat.  ) 

Dead  reckoning. — The  rough  reckoning  of  a  vessel's 
situation  after  taking  the  log  and  making  usual 
allowances ;   but  without  minute  observation  as  with  the  sextant. 

Dead  water. — The  water  which  closes  in  astern  of  a  ship  as  she 
moves  forward. 

Dead  wind. — A  wind  directly  opposed  to  the  course  of  a  ship, 
which  may  be  spoken  of  as  sailing  dead  against  the  wind,  or  mak- 
ing a  dead  peg  to  windward. 

A  steam  vessel  making  way  directly  contrary  to  the  wind  is  said 
to  be  dead  on  end. 

To  deaden  way. — To  check  a  ship's  progress. 

In  shipbuilding: 

Dead  flat,  otherwise  called  the  mid-ship  bend.  It  is  the  lowest 
member  of  the  largest  timber  (rib)  in  a  vessel  each  rib  being  com- 
posed of  several  pieces). 

Dead  lights. — Wooden  protectors  placed  over  cabin  lights  in  bad 

Dead  rising,  or  rising  line  of  floor. — The  line  along  the  bottom  of  the 
nterior  of  a  vessel  where  the  flow-timbers  join  the  lower  futtocks. 

Dead  woods. — Strong  wooden  members  connecting  the  foot  of  the 
ead  post  and  that  of  the  stem  post  with  the  keel,  and  also  taking 

te  ends  of  the  lower  strakes  of  a  vessel.     That  one  holding  the 

ail  post  is  called  the  fore  deadwood,  that  one  on  the  stern  post  the 

'ter  deadwood.     (See  diagram  under  Frame.) 
~*ead  works. — A  name  at  one  time  given  to  that  part  of  a  vessel 
h  is  above  the  water  when  she  is  laden.     The  name  is  now 
I  the  freeboard. 




In  the  rigging  of  a  ship  : 

Deadeyes. — Stout  discs  of  wood  through  which  holes  (usually 
three  in  numher)  are  pierced  for  the  reception  of  thin  ropes  called 
lanyards:  they  are  employed  as 
blocks  connecting  the  shrouds 
with  the  channel  plates.  The 
holes  are  the  eyes,  and  because 
they  are  not  fitted  with  pulleys 
they  are  called  "dead,"  hence: 
"  deadeye."  Deadeyes  are  of 
various  shapes,  though  the  disc 
form  is  far  the  most  usual.  The 
heart  has  but  one  eye,  the  lower 
edge  of  which  is  serrated  or 
"scored,"  so  as  to  grip  the 
lanyard.  The  collar-heart  is 
open  at  the  lower  ends  (see  fig. ). 

Dead-ropes.  — Those  ropes  which 
do  not  run  in  any  blocks. 

Deck.  —  Generally  speaking 
the  covering  of  the  interior  of  a 
ship,  either  carried  completely 
over  her  or  only  over  a  portion. 
Large  ships  and  steam  vessels 
may  have  various  decks,  as  in 
the  following  list  : — 

Main  deck. — The  principal  and 
often  the  only  deck  in  a  vessel. 

Anchor  deck. — A  small  eleva- 
tion in  the  bows. 

Awning  deck. — One  completely 
covering  over  a  main  deck. 

Bridge  deck  or  bridge  house. — 
A  deck  amidships  upon  which 
the  bridge  is  placed. 

Fore-castle  deck. — One  covering  taking 
a  deck  fore-castle. 

Hurricane  deck.  —  An  upper 
deck  extending  across  a  vessel 
amidships,  usually  for  the  officers 
in  command. 

Lower  deck. — One  below  the 
main  deck. 

Monlcey  deck. — Another  name  for  the  anchor  deck. 

Orlop  deck. — The  lowest  in  the  ship.  In  old  battle  ships  this 
deck  was  below  the  water  line;  the  cock-pit  and  certain  of  the  store 
rooms  were  upon  it. 

Poop  deck. — One  covering  the  after  part  of  a  vessel  and  forming 
a  poop. 



Various  Deadeyes. 







FLUSH        DECK 

Bridge  Deck 




Promenade  deck  (on  passenger  ships). — A  deck  covering  the  saloon, 
usually  reserved  to  the  use  of  first-class  passengers. 

Quarter  deck. — That  part  of  the  decking  which  covers 
quarters  ;  or  it 
may  he  a  sepa- 
rate deck  raised 
over  that  por- 
tion, when  it  is 
called  a  raised 
quarter  deck. 

Shade  deck. — 
Much  like  an 
awning  deck, 
but  less  en- 

Spar  deck. — 
A  deck  above 
the  main  deck. 

Top  -  gallant- 
forecastle  deck. 
— A  larger  an- 
chor deck. 

Well  deeli.— 
That  part  of 
the  main  deck 
which  consti- 
tutes the  well. 

Working  deck. 
— A  spar  deck. 

The  different 
types  of  vessels 
classed  in 
Lloyd's  register 
are  decked  as 

1.  Flush  deck, 
that  is  having 
nothing  raised 
above  the  deck 
beyond  the  head 
of  the  engine 
and  boiler  cas- 
ings. 2.  Vessel 
having  monkey 
forecastle,  bridge 



rffill«IMM°IH*-'  w"-L-  - ' 





house  and  hood  for  the  protection  of  steering  gear.  3.  Vessel  having 
top-gallant- forecastle,  bridge  house,  and  poop.  4.  Vessel  having 
top-gallant-forecastle,  bridge  house,  and  short  raised  quarter-deck. 
■5.    Well-decked  vessel,   having   top-gallant-forecastle,   with  a  long 

P  2 

68  A    DICTIONAEY    OP    SEA    TEEMS. 

poop  and  bridge-house  combined.  6.  Also  known  as  well  decked 
vessel,  having  top-gallant-forecastle,  with  a  long  raised  quarter- 
deck and  bridge-house  combined.  7.  Shade  decked  vessel,  having 
continuous  upper  deck  of  bight  construction  with  openings  in  the 
sides.  8.  Awning  decked  vessel,  with  continuous  upper  deck  of 
light  construction,  and  the  sides  completely  enclosed  above  the 
main  deck.  9.  Spar-decked  vessel,  with  the  scantlings  above  the 
main  deck  heavier  than  that  in  the  awning  decked  vessel,  but  not 
so  heavy  as  in  a  "  three  decked  vessel." 

Deep. — A  gulf  or  channel  in  the  sea,  as  the  "  Barrow  Deep  "  in 
the  estuary  of  the  Thames. 

Deep  (on  the  hand  line). — One  of  the  dividing  marks,  so  that  the 
depth  of  water  sounded  may  be  seen  at  a  glance  or  felt  in  the  dark. 
(See  Lead.) 

Depth. — Depth  measure. — In  ships  this  is  taken  inside,  from  the 
underside  of  the  beams  to  the  kelson  ;  in  open  boats  it  is  taken 
outside,  from  the  top  of  the  gunwale  to  the  underside  of  the  true 

Depth  of  a  flag. — The  perpendicular  height,  the  length  being 
called  the  fly. 

Depth  of  a  sail. — The  longest  cloth  (or  strip  of  canvas.) 

Derelict. — Forsaken.  The  term  applies  to  ships  from  which 
the  crews  have  been  withdrawn  and  in  which  no  domestic  animal  is 
left.     Sometimes  also  it  means  the  ebb-dry  foreshore. 

Derrick. — Generally  speaking,  a  crane  consisting  mainly  of  one 
large  beam,  the  foot  of  which  rests  either  upon  the  ground  or  at  the 
lower  portion  of  a  mast.     (See  also  Floating  Derrick.) 

Deviation  of  the  compass. — "  The  variation  of  a  ship's  com- 
Dass  from  the  true  magnetic  meridian,  caused  by  the  near  presence 
of  iron."     (See  Compass.) 

Devil. — A  word  with  various  meanings. 

Devil  bolts. — A  name  given  to  bolts  with  false  clenches,  or  to- 
those  which  may  be  otherwise  faulty,  in  the  building  of  a  vessel  by 

Devil's  claw. — A  strong  split  hook  grasping  the  link  of  a  chain  r 
and  sometimes  used  on  cranes  for  gripping  a  weight. 

Devilfish. — The  fearful  octopus  "  Lophius  Piscatorius. "  (See- 
Victor  Hugo's  "  Travailleurs  de  la  Mer. ") 

Devil  seam. — That  seam  in  a  vessel  which  is  about  on  the  water 

Devil's  smiles. — Gleams  of  sunshine  in  stormy  weather,  which 
come,  alas,  only  to  deceive. 

Devil's  table  cloth. — A  name  for  the  fleecy  white  clouds  often  seen 
in  windy  weather. 

The  devil  to  pay. — An  expression  implying  an  \m pleasant 
situation,  or  that  something  will  have  to  be  paid  without  the 
wherewithal  to  do  so.  The  full  term  (as  employed  by  the- 
ancients)  is  more  self-explanatory,  The  devil  to  pay  and  no  tar  hot. 

A    DICTIONARY    OP    SEA    TERMS.  69 

Dhow. — A  long  flat  Arab  vessel  or  canoe. 

Diagonal  build. — A  method  of  boat  building  in  which  tho 
planks  run  diagonally  across  the  heads.     (See  BUILD.) 

Dinghy. — A  small  open  boat,  usually  attached  to  a  yacht,  and 
useful  for  all  general  purposes.  Of  late  years,  tome  dinghies,  of 
more  than  ordinary  size,  have  been  fitted 
with  engines.  A  dinghy,  though  of 
course  a  necessity  to  a  yacht,  is  often 
somewhat  of  a  burthen  on  a  cruise,  in 
consequence  of  which  several  inven- 
tions have  from  time  to  time  been 
brought  in  for  rendering  it  collapsable. 
None  of  these,  however,  have  become 
very  popular.    The  dinghy  is  by  some  Dinghy. 

people  called  the  "punt." 

Dip. — To  dip  is  to  lower  and  then  raise  again.  Thus  to  dip  a  flag 
is  a  salute,  and  it  may  be  dipped  a  varied  number  of  times  accord- 
ing to  the  personage  saluted.     (See  Salute.) 

Dipping  lug. — A  lug  sail  which  must  be  lowered  and  set  again 
every  time  a  boat  carrying  it  changes  her  tack.     (See  Lua.) 

Displacement. — The  weight  of  water  displaced  by  any  vessel. 
The  word  was,  at  one  time,  made  use  of  in  defining  the  carrying 
power  of  ships.  As  applied  to  yachts  it  has  but  little  meaning  : 
these  are  now  "  rated  "  by  measurement  and  sail  area.  (See  Rating.) 

Distress. — In  want  of  assistance.  In  small  craft  a  signal  of 
distress  is  made  by  hoisting  a  ball,  or  anything  like  a  ball,  in  place 
of  a  flag,  or  by  flying  the  ensign  upside  down.  At  night  signal  must 
be  made  by  rockets  or  fires.     (See  SIGNALS.) 

Dock. — An  artificially  constructed  basin  for  the  reception  of 
vessels.  It  may  be  either  a  wet  dock,  in  which  ships  are  unloaded, 
or  a  dry  dock,  in  which  they  are  either  built  or  repaired. 

Dockyard. — An  enclosed  area  in  which  the  work  connected 
with  the  building  or  fitting  out  of  ships  is  carried  on. 

Dog. — Dog-stupper. — A  stopper  on  a  cable  to  enable  it  to  be  bitted. 

Dog-watch. — The  short  watches,  or  spaces  of  time,  into  which 
the  24  hours  of  the  day  are  divided  on  sailing  ships.  They  are  only 
of  two  hours'  duration  each,  the  ordinary  watches  being  of  four 
hours',  and  their  use  is  to  shift  the  watches  each  night,  so  that  the 
same  watch  (gang  of  men)  need  not  be  on  deck  at  the  same  hours. 
They  are  from  4  to  6  p.m.  and  from  6  to  8  a.m.     (See  WATCHES.) 

Dogger  (old  term). — "A  Dutcli  fishing-vessel  navigated  in  the 
German  Ocean  ;  it  is  equipped  with  two  masts,  a  main  mast  and  a 
mizzen  mast,  and  somewhat  resembles  a  ketch.  It  is  principally 
used  for  fishing  on  the  Dogger  Bank."  (Falconer's  Dictionary.) 
This  vessel  in  the  Dutch  and  Scandinavian  languages  was  known 
as  a  pink. 

Dogger-men. — Men  engaged  in  the  Dogger  Bank  fisheries. 



Doggett's  coat  and  badge. — A  celebrated  race  for  Thames- 
watermen's  apprentices.  Its  origin  is  thus  given  in  Faulkner's 
"  History  of  Chelsea."  "  Mr.  Thomas  Doggett,  a  native  of  Ireland, 
was  an  actor  on  the  stage  and  made  his  first  appearance  at  Dublin  ; 
but  his  efforts  not  meeting  with  sufficient  encouragement,  he 
removed  to  London,  where  he  performed  with  great  reputation,  and 
by  his  talents,  industry,  and  economy,  acquired  a  competent  fortune 
and  quitted  the  stage  some  years  before  he  died.  In  his  political 
principles,  he  was,  in  the  words  of  Sir  Richard  Steele,  '  A  Whig  up 
to  head  and  ears ' ;  and  lie  took  every  occasion  of  demonstrating  his 
loyalty  to  the  house  of  Hanover.  One  instance,  among  others,  is- 
well  known  ;  Avhich  is,  that  in  the  year  after  King  George  the  First 
came  to  the  throne,  in  1715,  Doggett  gave  a  waterman's  orange- 
coloured  coat  and  silver  badge  to  be  rowed  for ;  on  the  latter  is  re- 
presented the  Hanoverian  horse;  but  the  newspapers  of  the  day  will 
nave  it  to  represent  the  wild  unbridled  horse  of  liberty.  This 
contest  takes  place  on  the  first  day  of  August,  being  the  anniversary 
of  that  King's  accession  to  the  throne,  between  six  young  watermen, 
who  have  just  completed  their  apprenticeship  ;  the  claimants  start- 
ing off  on  a  signal  being  given  at  the  time  of  the  tide  when  the 
current  is  strongest  against  them, 
and  rowing  from  the  Old  Swan, 
near  London  Bridge,  to  the 
White  Swan  at  Chelsea." 

Dolphin. — The  name  some- 
times given  to  those  posts,  more 
usually  called  bollards,  on  a 
quay  or  pier  to  which  hawsers  or 
springs  may  be  fastened. 

Dolphin  stri/cer. — A  small  spar 
rigged  at  right  angles   beneath 
the  bow-sprit  in  large  vessels  for  the  extra  staying  of  the  bowsprit 
and  jib  boom. 

Donkey.  —  Donkey  engine.  — 
Often  called  the  "  donkey,"  a 
small  engine  on  ship-board  (or 
ashore)  to  do  light  work  such 
as  hauling  in  the  cable,  working 
the  derrick,  etc. 

Donkey  topsail.  —  The  jack- 
topsail  (which  see)  is  sometimes 
thus  called. 

Double.  —  In  ship  -  building, 
doubling  is,  generally,  a  method 
of  restoring  old  clincher  -  built 
hulls.  It  consists  in  covering  each  -I)o^£i 
stroke  (line  of  planking)  with  a 
new  planking  cut  so  as  to  be  flush  Doubling. 





•with  the  lands  (overlapping  edges).  Thus  a  doubled  boat  may 
appear  to  be  carvil  built,  while  she  is  really  no  such  thing.  Doubling 
certainly  renders  old  boats  fit  for  further  service,  but  it  is  often 
practised  for  the  sake  of  deceiving  buyers,  and  must,  therefore, 
be  looked  upon  with  caution.  People  who  invest  in  old  boats  should 
survey  them  very  carefully  beforehand,  and  if  they  are  found  to  be 
doubled,  the  reason  should  be  known. 

Doubling  a  cape,  in  sailing,  is  going  round  a  cape  or  headland. 
Double,  sculling  (in  rowing). — The  propulsion  of  a  boat  by  two 
persons,  each  using  sculls.  It  is  much  practised  on  the  Upper 
Thames ;  and  (for  pleasure  purposes)  mostly  with  a  coxswain.  In 
racing,  however,  a  rudder  is  often  dispensed  with,  and  the  steering 
performed  by  the  bow  sculler. 

Double  banked  (also  in  rowing). — A  system  at  one  time  in  vogue 
for  ships'  long-boats  of  placing  two  rowers  on  each  thwart,  or  bank 
(French  banc — bench).     (See  BANK.) 

Double  topsails. — In 
square  rigged  ships — a 
pair  of  topsails,  the 
result  of  dividing  one 
big  topsail  into  two 
smallones,  called  respec- 
tively the  topsail  and 
the  lower  or  middle 
topsail.  This  method 
was  introduced  to 
meet  the  difficulties 
of  working  so  large 
a  sail  as  the  old 
style  of  topsail,  and 
was  found  to  answer 
so  satisfactorily  that 
it  has  since  been  em- 
ployed in  all  modern 
ships.  These  half  sails 
are,  naturally,  short 
in  the  drop,  and  spread 
a  wide  clew.  They  are 
deeply  roached  and  present  a  very  smart  appearance. 
Down. — To  "  down  "  a  sail,  mast,  etc.,  is  to  lower  it. 
Doivns,  or  dunes  (from  the  ancient  dunes). — Banks  of  sand  thrown 
up  by  the  sea  and  carried  forward  by  the  wind. 

The  Downs. — A  famous  shipping  road  along  the  eastern  coast  of 
Kent  from  Dover  to  the  North  Foreland,  and  where  excellent 
anchorage  is  to  be  obtained  and  shelter  during  westerly  gales.  It 
is  here  that  the  British  Fleet  used  to  meet. 

Downhaul. — A  rope  by  which  a  sail  or  spar  is  hauled  down  or  in. 
Thus  the  jib  downhaul  hauls  the  jib  in,  along  the  l>owsprit,  wliile 
the  peak  downhaul  brings  the  peak  down.     The  downhauls  in  small 

Double  Topsails. 

72  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA     TERMS. 

craft  are  very  often,  in  fact  most  often,  only  halyards  or  sheets 
turned  to  the  use.  Such  are  the  throat,  peak,  jib,  and  topsail 
downhauls ;  the  throat-downhaul  being  merely  the  tack  tricing  line 
made  fast  for  the  time  to  the  boom  stays  or  elsewhere  ;  the  peak 
lines  or  flag  halyard  doing  service  as  the  peak  downhatil ;  the  jib 
outhaul  as  the  jib  downhaul ;  and  the  topsail  downhaul,  which  is 
more  truly  a  downhaul  than  any,  serving  also  as  a  tack  line.  A  large 
foresail  (or  in  a  square  rigged  vessel,  a  staysail)  is  sometimes 
furnished  with  a  downhaul  which  leads  from  the  tack  of  the  sail 
to  its  head,  and  thence  to  the  deck.  The  sail  can  thus  be  hauled 
down  and  into  the  vessel. 

Down-helm. — To  put  the  helm  to  leeward.     (See  Helm.) 

Sailing  down  the  wind  is  "running." 

Dowse. — To  lower  or  slacken  suddenly;  expressed  of  a  sail  or 

Drabler  (only  of  old  ships). — "An  additional  part  of  a  sail, 
sometimes  laced  to  the  bottom  of  the  bonnet  on  a  square  sail. "  It 
appears  that  the  square  sails  in  small  craft  were  at  one  period 
increased  in  size  by  the  addition  of  a  lower  strip  of  canvas  called  the 
bonnet  (lohich  see),  and  to  this  again  was  added  another  strip  called 
the  drabler.  These  strips  were  sometimes  buttoned  and  sometimes 
laced  to  the  sail,  the  latter  through  small  loops  sewed  to  the  bonnet 
or  drabler  and  called  laskets.  The  drabler  is  now  extinct,  though 
the  bonnet  remains  in  certain  fore-and-aft  rigged  vessels.  (See 
Norfolk  Wherry.) 

Drag. — To  drag  is  to  draw  a  frame  of  iron  or  wood,  sometimes 
furnished  with  a  net,  and  called  the  drag  or  dredge,  along  the  bottom  of 
any  water,  either  for  something  lost  or  for  taking  fish.  (See  Dredge.  ) 

To  drag  for  an  anchor  is  to  draw  the  bight  of  a  chain  or  rope  along 
the  bottom,  each  end  being  in  a  boat. 

An  anchor  is  said  to  drag,  or  come  home,  when  it  loses  its  hold. 

Draught. — The  draught  of  a  vessel,  or,  in  other  words,  the 
depth  of  water  she  draws,  is  the  vertical  depth  of  the  immersed 
part  of  her  ;  that  is,  the  distance  of  the  lowest  point  of  her  keel 
(or  any  other  specified  point)  from  the  surface  of  the  water. 

Draw. — Drawing. — The  state  of  a  sail  when  inflated  and  the  lee 
sheets  taut,  and  therefore  carrying  the  vessel  on  her  course. 

Let  draw. — To  draw  over  the  sheets  of  foresail  or  jib  when  coming 

To  draw  upon  any  object  or  moving  vessel  is  to  gain  upon  it. 

A  draw. — A  short  rope  for  drawing  down  part  of  a  sail,  as  the 
tack  of  a  lug  sail. 

Dredge  (often  pronounced  ' '  drudge  "). — A  dredge  or  dredger  is  a 
machine  for  clearing  or  deepening  rivers,  canals,  etc.  There  are 
also  dredges,  sometimes  called  drags,  drawn  along  the  bottom  by 
boats  for  the  purpose  either  of  disturbing  the  mud  or  of  fetching  up 
any  object,  such  as  oyster  dredges. 

Dredgerman  (drudgerman). — One  who  works  a  dredge. 

A    DICTIONAKY     OF     SEA    TEEMS.  73 

Dress  (a  ship). — To  deck  her  out  with  colours  (flags). 
Drift. — To  drift  is  to  be  carried  with  a  stream  or  current,  and 
with  a  vessel  it  implies  that  she  is  not  under  control. 

Drive. — To  drive  or  to  be  driven  is  (of  a  ship)  to  drift ;  it  is 
thus  described  by  Falconer: — "To  carry  at  random  along  the 
surface  of  the  water  as  impelled  by  a  storm  or  impetuous  current. 
Driving  is  generally  expressed  of  a  ship,  when  accidentally  broke 
loose  from  her  anchors  or  moorings. " 

Driver,  or  spanker. — The  fore-and-aft  or  gaff  sail  on  the 
mizzen  mast  of  a  ship  or  bark. 

Drop. — To  drop.  This  term  is  often  used  with  reference  to 
moving  a  vessel  a  short  distance,  or  to  letting  her  drift  with  the  tide. 
Thus  she  may  drop  up  or  drop  down,  according  to  the  direction  in 
which  she  is  carried. 

Drop  anchor. — To  let  go  the  anchor. 

Drop  astern. — To  go,  to  remain,  or  to  be  left  astern  of  a  vessel. 

Drop  keel. — Another  name  for  the  centre-board  (which  see). 

Drop  pawl. — A  pawl  which  drops  upon  each  tooth  of  a  rack  wheel. 
(See  Pawl.) 

The  drop  of  a  sail. — The  depth  of  a  sail,  expressed  more  generally 
of  a  square  sail,  as  "  the  main-sail  drops  30ft." 

Drowned. — The  leading  principles  upon  which  the  directions 
for  the  restoration  of  the  apparently  dead  from  drowning  are 
founded  are  those  of  the  late  Dr.  Marshall  Hall,  combined  with  those 
of  Dr.  H.  It.  Silvester,  and  supplemented  by  rules  suggested  by  Dr. 
George  S.  Wells.  These  principles  are  the  result  of  extensive  inquiries 
which  were  made  by  the  Royal  National  Lifeboat  Institution  in 
1863-4  amongst  medical  men,  medical  bodies,  and  coroners  throughout 
the  United  Kingdom.  The  rules  are  in  Her  Majesty's  Fleet ;  in  the 
Coastguard  Service,  at  all  stations  of  the  British  Army  at  home  and 
abroad ;  in  the  light-houses  and  vessels  of  the  Corporation  of  the 
Trinity  House  ;  the  Metropolitan  and  Provincial  Police  Forces,  the 
Metropolitan  School  Board  Schools,  and  the  St.  John  Ambulance 
Association.  Those  out  of  touch  with  any  of  these  institutions 
will  also  find  them  in  Lloyd's  Almanac.  Every  person  indulging 
in  boating  should  become  familiar  with  them. 

Dnb  (in  shipbuilding). — To  work  with  the  adze  on  a  spar  and 
the  like. 

Duck. — 1.   To  dive,  dip,  or  lower. 

2.  Duck. — Fine  canvas  used  for  the  sails  of  light  Iwats,  and  also 
for  the  trousers  of  seamen. 

Ducking  at  the  yard  arm. — An  old  punishment  (now  extinct), 
consisting  of  swinging  a  man  up  to  the  yard  arm  and  then  dropping 
him  into  the  water. 

Dunnage  (at  sea). — "  The  name  applied  to  loose  wood  or 
rubbish  placed  at  the  bottom  of  the  hold  to  raise  the  cargo  either  for 
purposes  of  ballast,  or  to  keep  it  dry. " 

74  A    DICTIONABY    OF    SEA     TEBMS. 

Dutchman. — A  name  given  to 
any  Dutch  craft,  of  which  there  are 
many  classes  ;  but  the  one  or  two- 
masted  vessels,  Avith  overhanging 
bows  and  very  curved  sheers, 
common  on  the  east  coast,  are 
often  classed  as  Dutchmen. 

Dyke. — A  large  ditch  or  fissure 
in  marsh  or  low  lying  lands  such 
as  saltings.  In  the  east  of  England 
the  word  is  pronounced  "  deek." 


Eagre,  or  eagor  (also  acker). — 
An  eddying  (or  eager)  ripple  on  the 
surface  of  flooded  waters.  A  tide 
swelling  over  another  tide,  as  in  the  -  -.? 

Severn.    (See  Bore.) — (Smyth.)  Dutchman. 

Earings,  or  reef  earings. — 
Small  ropes  attached  to  cringles  (loops  or  eyes)  in  the  bolt  ropes  at 
the  head  of  sails.     The  following  has  reference  to  square  rig  : — 

Earings. — "  Small  ropes  fastened  to  cringles  (loops)  in  the  upper 
corners,  and  also  to  the  leeches  of  sails,  for  the  purpose  of  fixing  the 
leeches  of  the  sail  to  the  yard.  The  first  or  head  earings  fix  the 
corners  of  the  sail  permanently,  the  second  being  used  only  in 
reefing."  (Brande  and  Cox.)  There  is  a  difference  between  earings 
and  reef  earings,  as  follows  : — The  former  are  spliced  to  the  cringle  ; 
the  latter  are  rove  through  a  cringle  having  an  eye  spliced  in 
it,  so  that  it  may  the  more  easily  be  renewed.     (Falconer.) 

Ease. — Ease  away. — In  sailing,  to  slacken  away  gradually  ;  as  of 
a  rope.     ' 

Ease  the  ship. — To  put  the  helm  hard  a'lee  when  she  is  expected 
to  plunge.  This  may  well  be  done  in  small  craft,  and  is  also  done 
in  large  vessels,  notwithstanding  much  opposition  to  the  practice 
on  the  part  of  writers  on  the  art  of  sailing,  who  hold  it  to  be 
impossible  to  influence  the  motion  of  the  vessel  in  so  short  a  time  as 
would  be  necessary  to  put  her  into  a  coming  wave. 

Easy  (in  rowing). — An  order  to  cease  rowing,  and  lie  on  the 
oars,  that  is  to  drop  them  just  above  the  water,  blades  flat.  The 
order  is  often  given, — "  Easy  all!" 

Easting. — Distance  eastward  ;  just  as  northing  is  distance  north- 

Ebb.— The  reflux  of  the  tide. 

Ebb  dry. — That  portion  of  a  solid  or  hard  foreshore  which  is  daily 
covered  at  high  tide  and  left  dry  at  low. 

Eddy. — A  circular  motion  in  water,  caused  either  by  its  meeting 
with  some  obstacle  and  circling  round  it,  or  by  the  meeting  of 
opposite  currents.     Eddies  are  frequent  round  the  piers  of  bridges 



End  On. 


when  the  tide  runs  swiftly,  and  may  often  be  dangerous  to  small 
boats.  This  is  particularly  the  case  under  the  bridges  of  the 
Thames.  In  such  cases,  therefore,  it  is  wise  to  be 
cool  and  careful,  and  to  keep  strict  attention  to 
the  boat's  course,  that  she  be  not  swung  round. 

Eight-oar. — A  boat  rowed  by  eight  oars.  On 
the  Upper  Thames  it  is  usually  understood  to 
mean  a  racing  outrigger. 

Elbows  (in  shipbuilding).— (See  Knees.) 

End  (of  a  rope). — The  end  of  a  rope  is  spoken 
of  in  contradistinction  to  the  bight,  which  is  that 
part  between  the  ends  ;  but  a  bight  is  also  more 
generally  looked  upon  as  a  bent  part  of  the  rope 
(see  Bight).  The  standing  end,  otherwise  called 
the  standing  part  of  a  rope,  is  that  end  which  is 
fixed  or  made  fast,  the  part  hauled  upon  being 
called  the  running  end  or  part. 

End  on. — The  situation  of  a  vessel  when  point- 
ing directly  at  any  object ;  thus  if,  at  night,  we 
see  both  the  red  and  green  lights  of  a  ship  we 
know  her  to  be  end  on.    This  term  is  employed  in  the 
tions  for  Prevention  of  Collisions  at  Sea." 

End  ring. — 1.  Of  a  chain,  a  round  ring  gener- 
ally terminating  the  chain.  (See  figure  under 
CHAIN.)  2.  A  ring  or  cap  fitted  over  the  end 
of  a  spar.  It  prevents  the  spar  from  splitting,  and 
is  generally  made  with  eyes  or  hooks  round  it 
to  carry  small  blocks.  It  is  found  on  gaffs, 
bowsprits,  etc.,  that  on  the  bowsprit  being 
generally  called  the  cratise-irun.  (See  figure 
under  Bowsprit.  ) 

Ensign  (usually  pronounced  "ens'n"). — The 
flag  carried  by  a  ship  as  the  insignia  of  her 
nationality.  The  ensign  of  Great  Britain  con- 
sists of  a  red,  white  or  blue  field  (or  ground), 
with  the  device  of  the  Union  (see  Union  Jack) 
in  the  first  canton  (i.e.,  the  upper  quarter 
nearest  the  mast).  The  wlute  ensign  displays 
the  cross  of  Saint  George,  i.e.,  a  red  cross  on 
a  white  field,  with  the  Union  in  the  first 
quarter  ;  the  red  and  blue  ensigns  are  without  a  | 
cross,  but  often,  though  the  Union  in  them, 
occupies  only  the  same  area  as  though  the 
cross  still  remained.  Ships  of  war  ny  the 
ensign  of  St.  George,  i.e.,  the  white  ensign 
the  Naval  Reserve  the  blue  ;  and  the  Mercantile 
Navy  the  red.     Until  recent  years  all  three  were     8J-UE  ■>" 

used  in  the  Royal  Navy,  there  being  an  Admiral  Ensigns. 


76  A    DICTIONARY    OP    SEA     TEEMS. 

of  the  White,  of  the  Blue,  and  of  the  Red.  The  distinctions  have, 
however,  been  discontinued  :  by  a  rule  of  1864  all  men-of-war  carry 
the  St.  George's  ensign.  Certain  yacht  clubs  have  also  the  privilege 
of  flying  particular  ensigns,  as  in  tbe  case  of  the  Royal  Yacht 
Squadron,  which  flies  the  white.  The  ensign  is  hoisted  in  a  steam 
vessel,  or  large  ship,  on  a  pole  over  the  taffrail ;  on  a  schooner,  brig, 
etc. ,  at  the  peak  of  the  main  gaff ;  on  a  cutter  or  sloop,  at  the  peak  ; 
on  a  yawl,  at  the  mizzen  peak,  unless  the  mizzen  be  a  lug-sail,  when 
it  is  sent  up  at  the  main  peak  ;  and 
on  a  row  boat  over  the  stern.  In 
port  it  flies  between  8  a.m.  and 
sunset ;  at  sea  only  when  meeting 
strangers.  Turned  upside  down  it 
is  a  signal  of  distress.  Displayed 
under  any  than  ordinaiy  circum- 
stances it  becomes  a  signal.  (For 
further  reference  to  its  use  by 
yacht  clubs  see  BURGEE.) 

Entrance. — That  part  of  the  hull  of  a  vessel  (aft  of  the  cut- 
water) which  throws  off  tbe  water  as  she  moves.     (See  fig.) 

Equinox. — (Lat.,  sequus,  equal,  and  nox,  night.)  "  In  astronomy, 
the  time  at  which  the  sun  passes  through  the  equator  in  one  of  the 
equinoctial  points.  When  the  sun  is  in  the  equator,  the  days  and 
nights  are  of  equal  length  all  over  the  world,  whence  the  derivation 
of  the  term.  This  happens  twice  every  year,  namely,  about  the 
21st  of  March  and  the  22nd  of  September  ;  the  former  is  called  the 
vernal  and  the  latter  the  autumnal  equinox."  (Brande  and  Cox.) 
The  atmosphere  is  often  much  disturbed  at  these  times,  and  hence 
at  the  beginning  of  spring  and  again  at  the  beginning  of  autumn  we 
have  what  are  palled  the  "  equinoctial  gales." 

Escutcheon. — The  plate  upon  which  a  ship's  name  is  written 
is  sometimes  thus  called. 

Europe  (rope). — A  dark  brown  tarred  rope,  now  almost  super- 
seded by  maaiilla.  Bits  of  old  Europe  used  to  be  sent  to  prisons 
with  which  to  make  oakum. 

Even  keel. — A  boat  is  said  to  be  on  an  even  keel  when  she  lies 
evenly  in  a  fore-and-aft  direction  (i.e.,  in  the  direction  of  the  keel). 
(See  diagram  under  Keel.)  She  is  also  sometimes  erroneously  so 
described,  especially  with  rowers,  when  she  is  upright  in  the  water, 
canting  neither  to  right  nor  to  left. 

Every. — Every  in'h  of  that. — An  exclamation.  To  belay  a  rope 
without  letting  an  inch  go. 

Every  rope  an  end. — Every  rope  running  freely. 

Every  stitch  of  canvas. — All  sail  set  and  no  possibility  of  adding 

Eye.— Generally  speaking  a  small  hole  or  loop,  as  : — 

Eye  of  a  block  strop. — That  cringle  or  hole  in  any  rope  or  sail 
from  which  a  block  is  suspended. 

A     DICTIONARY    OP     SEA     TEEMS. 



'i-rzzf,  j~eV&s  r 

exes     fo«     lacimgs 



2fye  0/  an  anchor. — The  hole  in  the  head  of  the  shank  in  which 
is  the  ring. 

Eye  bolts,  screw  eyes,  bolt  eyes. — Screws  or  bolts,  the  heads 
of  which  form  rings.  When  they  are  employed  for  guiding  the 
sheets  of  sails  they  are  sometimes  called  fair  leads  [see  FAIR.) 

Eye  splice. — An  eye  made  in  the  end  of 
a  rope,  either  wire  or  hempen,   by  turning  . ;'       .' .         •  .'-»' 

over  the  end  and  splicing  it  into  itself.    (See 

Eyelet  hole. — An  eye  in  a  sail,  either 
to  take  rope  or  lacing.  It  is  usually 
strengthened  with  a  small  metal  ring. 

Flemish  eye. — An  eye  at  the  end  of  a  rope, 
not  spliced,  but  bound  with  yam  (see  fig. ). 

Eyes  (on  a  sail). — Rings  sewn  into  the 
luff  and  leech  of  a  sail  to  take  the  ties  or 
lashings  when  reefing.  Also  holes  in  the 
sail  to  admit  of  short  ropes  (reef  points) 
being  passed  through  them. 

In  the  eye  of  the  wind. — A  vessel  is  said  to  sail  "  in  the  eye  of  the 
wind  "  when  she  keeps  her  course  at  a  very  acute  angle  with  the 
wind,  or,  in  other  words,  when  she  sails  very  close  to  the  wind. 

In  the  eyes  of  her. — The  most  forward  part  of  a  vessel. 

Eyot  (pronounced  "eight"). — Any  small  island  in  the  Upper 
Thames,  as  "  Chiswick  Eyot,"  one  of  the  points  often  mentioned  in 
the  records  of  rowing  or  sculling  matches  over  the  championship  course. 


Fag. — Fag  end  of  a  rope  ;  the  end  which  is  apt  to  become  un- 
twisted, or  fagged  out,  and  is  therefore  whipped,  or  bound,  with  yarn 
to  prevent  this. 

Pair. — Fair  weather. — In  the  north  the  simple  word  "  fair  " 
often  means  this. 

Fair  wind. — A  wind  which  takes  a 
ship  on  her  course  without  the  necessity 
of  tacking. 

Fair  way.  —  A  navigable  tract  or 
channel  of  water,  either  at  sea,  in  a 
harbour,  or  up  a  river. 

Fairlead  (on  the  deck  of  a  vessel). — 
Any  ring,  bolt,  eye,  or  loop  which 
guides  a  rope  in  the  direction  re- 
quired (see  ng.).  It  is  often  called  a 
"  chuck." 

Fair  curves  (in  shipbuilding). — "  The 
lines  of  a  boat  taken  indiscriminately  tjj 

either    vertically,    horizontally,    trans-  v 

versely,      or     sectionally,     should    all  Fairleads. 


A     DICTIONARY     OF     SEA     TEEMS. 

Fig.  1. 

result  in  regular  even  curves  without  any  severe  or  sharp  angular 
bends.  The  curves  fulfilling  this  test  are  termed  fair  curves.  In 
a  boat  properly  designed  the  curves  in  all  directions  should  be  fair." 
(Winn,  "  Boating  Man's  Vade  Mecum.") 

Fake. — A  slang  term  used  under  almost  any 
circumstances  and  signifying  almost  anything. 
Thus  to  fake  sometimes  means  to  make  a  thing 
look  right  when  it  is  not  so,  or  to  get  a  job  over, 
no  matter  how.  The  word  fakement  (used  by  landsmen 
more  than  by  seamen)  is  occasionally  employed  when 
the  speaker  is  at  a  loss  for  the  name  of  anything. 

A  fake  of  a  rope. — One  of  the  circles  of  a  coiled  rope. 

Fall. — Roughly  speaking,  a  rope  to  be  hauled 
upon  (fig.  1).  Thus  the  fall  of  a  tackle  is  the  rope 
upon  which  men  pull,  as  the  bobstay  fall,  the  rope 
which  taughtens  the  bobstay  ;  the  cat  fall,  the  rope 
hauled  upon  when  the  cat-block  is  secured  to  the 
anchor  in  bringing  it  into  the  ship,  etc. 

Fall  aboard. — To  run  foul  of  another  vessel. 

Fall  astern. — To  drop  astern  of  (i.e.,  behind) 
another  vessel. 

Fall  calm. — To  become  calm  ;  a  sudden  drop 
of  the  wind. 

Fall  down  to. — To  drift  on  an  ebbing  tide 
from  some  place  or  mooring  to  another. 

Fall  home,  tumble  home,  and  tumbling  in,  are 
terms  used  in  shipbuilding  to  describe  the 
inward  curve,  from  the  bilge  upward,  peculiar 
to  certain  vessels.  In  the  old  battle  ships  this 
was  particularly  noticeable.  The  continuation 
of  this  curve  below  the  water-bine  and  towards 
the  keel  is  sometimes  called  the^?a»-e  (fig.  2), 
which  name  is  also  applied  to  the  outward 
curve  of  the  bows.     (See  Fl ARE. ) 

Fall  off  (from  the  wind). — In  sailing,  a  boat  is  said  to  fall  off  when 
her  tendency  is  to  run  away  from  the  wind,  and  therefore  to  make 
considerable  leeway.  Occasionally  a  boat  may  be  in  the  habit  of 
doing  this  when  put  up  into  the  wind,  in  consequence  of  her  not 
having  sufficient  gripe  of  the  water  forward.  It  is  a  bad  and  dangerous 
fault.  In  centre-board  boats  it  may  sometimes  be  counteracted, 
at  great  trouble,  by  shifting  the  board  forward.     (See  Lee  Helm.) 

Fall  not  off. — A  command  to  the  steersman  to  keep  the  vessel's 
head  close  to  the  wind. 

False  keel. — An  addition  to  the  main  keel.  It  not  only  acts 
as  a  protection  to  the  main  keel,  but  enables  the  vessel  to  take  a 
better  hold  of  the  water.     (See  Frame.) 

Fan. — 1.  (Of  a  paddle  wheel  in  steam  boats.) — One  of  the  flat  plates 
or  boards  which  flap  the  water.     2.  (Of  a  canoe  paddle.) — The  blade. 


Fig.  2. 

A    DICTIONARY     OF     SEA     TEEMS.  79 

The  disc  or  blade  sometimes  seen  on  fancy  boat-hooks  is  also  called 
the  fan. 

Fanal. — A  lighthouse.     (French.) 

Fancy  line. — A  bine  running  through  a  block  beneath  the  jaws 
of  a  gaff  and  used  as  a  down  haul.  When  it  is  attached  to  the  tack 
of  the  sail  so  as  to  be  able  to  trice  that  up  it  becomes  a  tricing  line. 

Fang. — Fangs  are  the  valves  of  pump  boxes.  Hence,  to  pour 
water  into  the  pumps  of  a  vessel  to  enable  them  to  start  working,  or 
to  fetch,  is  to  fang  the  pumps. 

Fantod. — One  of  many  opprobrious  names  given  by  seamen  to  an 
officer  who  is  somewhat  fidgety. 

Fardage. — Dunnage  (when  a  ship  is  laden  in  bulk). 

Fashion  nieces  (in  shipbuilding). — The  aftermost  timbers 
of  a  vessel  which  form  or  "  fashion  "  the  shape  of  her  stem. 

Fast. — To  make  fast. — -To  fasten— spoken  of  a  rope  when  lashing 
anything  with  it,  but  not  when  belaying. 

Fathom. — A  measure  of  depth— 6ft.  Depths  of  water  are 
always  spoken  of  in  fathoms  or  portions  of  a  fathom  ;  the  lead  line 
is  marked  in  them  ;  and  the  soundings  on  charts,  unless  otherwise 
stated,  are  given  in  the  same.  But  the  depth  drawn  by  any  vessel 
is  always  calculated  in  feet.  Thus  a  vessel  drawing  18ft.  will 
ground  in  less  than  three  fathoms. 

Fay. — To  join  two  pieces  of  timber  by  thinning  down  the  ends 
aud  fitting  them  to  each  other. 

Feather  (in  rowing). — The  act  of  turning  the  oar  as  it  leaves 
the  water  at  the  finish  of  a  stroke,  so  that,  in  the  recovery  of  the 
stroke,  the  blade  passes  over  the  surface  of  the  Mater  horizontally, 
thereby  presenting  the  least  resistance  to  the  wind  as  well  as  to  the 
water  should  the  blade  accidentally  touch  it.  No  one  should  learn 
to  row  without  feathering ;  in  fact,  it  should  come  naturally,  as  the 
arms  are  thrust  forward  ;  and  as  the  recovery  finishes  the  oars  should 
be  in  position  to  take  the  stroke.  Feathering  at  sea  in  this  manner 
is  impossible,  for  the  waves  might  catch  the  oar  at  eveiy  stroke ; 
but  here  the  act  has  a  different  intent,  the  blade  of  the  oar  being 
kept  pretty  much  at  the  same  angle  throughout  both  stroke  and 
recovery  ;  not  at  right  angles  to  the  water,  but  at  an  angle  of  some- 
thing like  45  degrees.  This  constitutes  the  great  difference 
between  sea  and  river  rowing  ;  a  difference  so  great  that  many  well- 
trained  river  boatmen  require  some  little  practice  before  they  are 
able  to  pick  up  the  knack  of  the  sea  style.  In  smooth  waters  the 
blade  of  the  oar  is  put  in  at  right  angles  to  the  surface,  and  a  steady 
even  pull  is  taken  with  it  until  the  stroke  is  complete,  when,  as  it 
comes  out,  it  is  quickly  turned  flat.  At  sea,  on  the  contrary,  the 
oar  goes  into  the  water  at  an  obtuse  angle,  which,  directly  pressure 
is  put  on  it,  causes  it  to  dip  itself  somewhat  deep  ;  the  rower  then 
puts  his  weight  upon  it  and  pulls  down  (not  along),  thus  lifting 
the  oar  instead  of  actually  pulling  it.  This,  indeed,  is  the  only 
way  in  which  the  long,  heavy  oars  used  by  fishermen  can  be  handled. 


A     DICTIONARY    OF     SFA.     TEBMS. 

Feather  edge. — A  sharp  edge  of  a  plank  sawn 
diagonally  across  its  section.  Planks  thus  sawn  are 
said  to  be  feather  edged.  In  doubling  a  clincher-built 
boat  the  planks  of  the  outer  covering  or  doubling  will 
have  to  be  feathered.     (See  Doubling.) 

Feel  (the  helm). — When  the  helm  of  a  vessel  re- 
quires something  of  a  pull  to  bring  her  up  into  the 
wind  the  steersman  may  say  that  he  feels  the  helm. 

Fend,  fenders. — To  fend  off  is  to  push  off  any 
heavy  body  from  another  so  as  to  avoid  contact. 
So  a  fender  or  fend  off  is  a  cushion,  usually  of  rope  or  yam,  in- 
serted between  two  boats  or  between  a  boat  and  any  other  object 
for  the  purpose  of  fending  it  off  from  the  other. 
Fenders  are  of  various  forms.  The  pudding 
fender  is  made  of  old  rope  worked  up  into  a 
large  round  pad,  not  altogether  unlike  a  pud- 
ding of  handsome  dimensions  :  it  is  always  to 
be  seen  on  large  vessels,  steam-boats,  etc.  The 
plain  fender  rope  is  made  of  one  or  more  short 
pieces  of  rope  folded  so  that  the  ends  meet  and 
are  served  or  bound  together  with  yam.  Some 
fenders  are  of  sawdust,  contained  in  a  bag  of 
painted  canvas :  these,  however,  are  apt  to 
swell  and  become  hard,  and  are  unsuitable, 
therefore,  for  anything  but  show  purposes. 
Cork,  on  the  other  hand,  or  oakum  covered  in 
leather,  are  useful.  India  rubber,  too,  in  the 
form  of  rings,  is  very  good.  For  a  boat  which 
is  subject  to  a  good  deal  of  knocking  about,  i'fmL 
such  as  a  yacht's  dinghy,  no  better  form  of 
fender  can  be  employed  than  a  thick  rope  run- 
ning all  round  the  sax  board,  and  this  is  now 

being   adopted   even  in  pleasure  boats.      In  many  Thames   skiffs 
small   fenders  (often   of   sawdust,    and   painted   white)   appear   to 
exist  as    much    for    orna- 
ment   as    for    use ;    being 
slung   permanently   round 
the  rowlocks,  to  which,  it 
must    be    admitted,    they 
give  a  neat  and    finished 
appearance.       Yachtsmen, 
however,   have  an  objection  to  this,   and   never   allow   fenders   to 
remain  out  board  while  under  way. 

Ferry. — "  In  law,  a  right  arising  from  royal  grant  or  prescription 
to  have  a  boat  to  carry  men,  etc. ,  across  a  river,  and  to  levy  reasonable 
toll.     The  land  on  both  sides  ought  to  belong  to  the  owner." 

Ferry  boats  are  of  various  kinds,  from  the  mere  open  boat  to  the 
chain  worked  pontoons  or  steam  passenger  boats  crossing  wide  rivers. 



Fender  Rope  Round  Skiff. 




Fetch.— To  attain.  "  We  shall  fetch  to  windward  of  the  light- 
house, this  tack." 

To  fetch  way. — To  make  way  ;  hut  Falconer  gives  it  as  follows  :— 
"  To  be  shaken  or  agitated  from  side  to  side." 

The  pumps  fetch. — They  begin  to  work. 

Pid. — A  bolt  of  wood  or  iron  which  fixes  the  heel  of  a  topmast  or 
bowsprit.     The  fid  of  a  mast  rests,  when  the  topmast  is  lifted,  in 
the    fid  holes   upon    the   trestle-trees,    thereby 
preventing    the    topmast   from   coming    down.  / 

(See  diagrams  under  Mast.) 

Splicing-fid. — A  spike  for  opening  the  strands 
of  a  rope. 

Fiddle  block. — A  block  with  one  sheave 
larger  than  another,  and  which,  therefore,  can 
take  two  sizes  of  rope  ;  from  which  circum- 
stance it  is  also  often  called  a  thick-and-thin 

Fiferail. — A  plank  or  rail  upon  which  a 
group  of  belaying-pins  are  fixed.  They  are 
often  seen  on  the  shrouds  of  large  yachts, 
where  they  take  some  of  the  halyards ;  and 
in  ships,  where  all  halyards  belay  by  the 
shrouds,  the  fiferail  may  be  fitted  with 
powerful  cleats. 

Figurehead. — The  figure  or  other  carving  which  used  to,  and 
occasionally  still  does,  adorn  the  prow  of  wooden  ships.  Properly 
applied  they  should  represent  the  subject  of  the  ship's  name. 

Figure-of-eight  knot.— (-See  Knots.) 

Fill. — To  fill  the  sails  is  so  to  trim  them  that  the  wind  may  act 
upon  them. 

Fillets. — Small  projecting  bands,  of  square  section,  on  any 
spars  or  mouldings. 

Finishing. — The  final  work  on  and  ornamenting  of  the  hull  of 
a  ship. 

Fish. — The  name  of  an  apparatus  for  hauling  in  the  flukes  of  an 
anchor  in  a  ship.  It  consists  of  the  fish  davit,  a  timber  or  iron  bracket 
projecting  from  the  bows  of  the  ship,  and  to  this  is  attached  the  fish 
ta'hle,  which  consists  of  the  fish  block,  the  principal  block  of  the  tackle; 
and  the  purchase  on  which  is  obtained  by  hauling  upon  the  fish  fall 
— i.e.,  the  rope  leading  from  the  fish-blocks.  (See  figs,  under  Davit.) 

Fish  fronts. — Strengthening  or  stiffening  planks  bound  over  a 
broken  spar  to  hold  it  together. 

Fisherman.— One  who  lives  by  fishing,  whether  on  salt  water 
or  fresh.  But  one  who  loafs  about  the  shore,  or  who  lets  out  boats, 
is  not  a  fisherman. 

Fisherman's  bend. — A  knot  used  in  securing  an  anchor  to  a  rope, 
and  sometimes  for  bending  sails  to  halyards.     (See  KNOTS.) 

Fisherman's  walk. — An  extremely  confined  space  on  the  deck  of 



a  vessel,  "  three  steps  and  overboard,"  or,  in  other  words,  no  larger 
an  area  than  the  deck  of  a  fishing  boat.  The  term  is  sometimes  used 
in  derision  of  what  yachtsmen  call  their  "  quarter  deck."  (Smyth.) 
Fitting  out.—"  Getting  in  the  masts,  putting  the  rigging  over- 
head, stowing  the  hold,  and  so  on."     (Capt.  Basil  Hall.) 

Flag. — A  flag  has  been  defined  as  a  banner  indicating  nationality, 
occupation,  or  intelligence.  The  flags  of  nationality  are  standards, 
ensigns,  jades.  Those  of  occupation  are  such  as  indicate  the 
service  or  occupation  of  those  who  fly  them,  as  war,  trading, 
pilotage,  yachting,  etc.  Those  of  intelligence  are  called  signals, 
and  are  of  various  forms  and  colours.  They  are  of  three  shapes, 
the  square,  the  pointed,  and  the  double-pointed  or  swallow  tail. 
(See  under  Signals.) 

The  standard  is  the  flag  of  war,  bearing  the  Royal  Arms  of  the 
nation.     (See  Standard.) 

The  ensign  is  the  signal  of  nationality.     (See  Ensign.) 
The  jack  is  used  under  a  large  variety  of  circumstances.      (See 

A  pennant,  or  pendant,  is  a  long  pointed  flag  generally  used  in 
conjunction  with  signals.     (See  PENDANT. ) 

A  burgee  is  a  small  pointed  or  swallow  tail  flag  mostly  used  by 
yacht  clubs.     (See  Burgee.) 

A  bandrol,  or  bannerole,  is  a  small  streamer.  (The  word  is  not 
much  used  in  nautical  language.) 

A  wheft,  or  whiff,  is  also  a  streamer  used  either  with  signals  or 
at  a  mast  head. 

A  house  jlag  is  a  square  flag  distinguishing  a  particular  shipping 
company.     (See  House  Flag.  ) 

A  member's  jlag  is  a  small  flag  belonging  to  a  private  member  of  a 
yacht  club.     (See  Member's  Flag  and  Burgee.  ) 

A  plain  white  flag  signifies  a  clean  bill  of  health  :  in  war  it  is  the 
flag  of  truce.  A  yellow  flag  is  the  mark  of  quarantine,  and  warns 
all  passers  to  pass  or  moor  to  windward.  A  red  flag  alone  signifies 
that  the  vessel  or  barge  upon  which  it  is  displayed  carries  an  explosive 
cargo.  A  black  flag  is  the  old  flag  of  piracy.  A  flag  hoisted  upside 
down  is  a  signal  of  distress.  jLA?*"p««ct.e 
Half  mast  high,  it  means  €> 
mourning  ;  when  dipped  it 
is  a  mark  of  salutation  or 
respect,  the  number  of  dips 
being  according  to  the  person 
or  object  saluted. 

The  parts  of  a  flag  are  the 
same  as  the  parts  of  an  es- 
cutcheon in  heraldry.  The 
perpendicular  depth  of  a  flag 
is  called  its  hoist,  height,  or 
depth.  Its  length  is  called 

•/.*  Canton 

Zr  Canton. 

3r«  Canton 

J?  t  Canton. 

,f FLy- >j 


A     DICTIONARY    OF     SEA     TEBMS.  83 

Flag  lieutenant. — The  immediate  attendant  upon  an  admiral, 
whose  orders  he  communicates  to  all  other  ships  in  command. 

Flag  officer. — An  officer  entitled  to  bear  his  own  distinguishing 
flag  at  his  mast  head.     Such  are  admirals  and  commodores. 

Flag  ship.— That  ship  of  a  fleet  which  flies  the  admiral's  flag. 

Flare,  or  flam  (a  flying  out). — The  peculiar  outward  and  up- 
ward curve  in  the  form  of  a  vessel's  bow.  When  it  hangs  over  she 
is  sometimes  said  to  have  a  ' '  flaring  bow. "    (See  Fall  and  Frame.) 

Flare  up  lights. — Lights  used  on  the  deck  of  a  vessel  as  signals. 
They  burn  only  a  few  seconds.     (See  Lights  and  Signals.) 

Flash. — Flashlight. — A  species  of  revolving  light  from  a  light- 
house or  ship.      (See  Lights.) 

Flash  vessel. — A  vessel  all  paint  outside  but  without  much  order 

Flat. — Level  ground  under  the  sea  and  generally  near  the  shore  ; 
as  the  Kentish  Flats,  in  the  estuary  of  the  Thames.  Otherwise  a 
shoal  or  shallow  place. 

Flats  (in  shipbuilding). — The  futtocks  amidships. 

Flat-floors,  also  called  bearers,  because  they  bear  the  floor  boards, 
are  small  beams  across  the  lowest  part  of  a  vessel.  They  are  made 
flat  above,  so  as  to  bear  the  flooring,  and  hollow  underneath  (some- 
what in  the  form  of  arches) ;  or  if  of  solid  pieces,  are  pierced  under- 
neath with  arched  apertures,  called  limbers,  these  limbers,  or 
passages  through  them,  being  necessary  to  allow  any  bilge  water 
to  run  fore  and  aft.  (See  Limbers.)  In  open  boats  they  are  often 
dispensed  with,  their  place  being  taken  by  the  footicaling .  (See 
diagram  under  Frame.) 

To  flat  in  a  sail. — To  haul  it  in  flat. 

"Flat  as  a  board." — An  expression  used  in  admiration  of  a  sail 
which  sets  very  free  of  creases,  as  it  is  the  pride  of  yachtsmen  to  see 

Flaw.— A  sudden  breeze  or  gust  of  wind.  A  sudden  change  in 
the  direction  of  the  wind.     Fickle  winds. 

Fleet.— A  fleet  is  a  number  of  vessels  in  company,  be  they  war 
vessels  or  any  others.  Thus  we  may  have  a  fishing  fleet,  such  as  the 
late  Barking  fleet  and  the  Yarmouth  fleet.  The  fleet  is  the  name  gener- 
ally given  to  the  ships  of  the  Koyal  Navy  or  a  detachment  of  it. 

Fleet  water,  a  fleet. — Shallow  tidal  water ;  a  shallow  place. 
Hence  the  names  Benfleet,  Northfleet,  Purfleet,  etc.,  and  also 
Fleet  Street. 

To  fleet  blocks. — To  free  or  loosen  the  blocks  of  a  tackle,  when 
drawn  close  together.  Falconer  gives  the  following  definition  of  the 
term  :  "  To  fleet  is  to  change  the  situation  of  a  tackle,  when  the 
blocks  are  drawn  together,  or  what  is  called  block  and  block  by 
sailors ;  also  to  change  the  position  of  the  dead  eyes,  when  the 
shrouds  are  becoming  too  long,  which  is  done  by  shortening  the 
shroud  and  turning  in  the  dead  eye  again,  lugher  up.  The  use  of 
fleeting   is,  accordingly,  to   replace  the   mechanical  powers  into  a 

G   2 

84  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA     TERMS. 

state  of  action,  the  force  by  which  they  operated  before  being 
destroyed  by  the  meeting  of  the  blocks  or  deadeyes.  Fleeting, 
therefore,  is  nearly  similar  to  the  winding  up  of  a  watch  or  clock." 

To  fleet  a  cable,  or  haivser,  is  to  allow  it  "  to  slip  on  the  whelps 
(upright  pieces)  of  the  capstan  or  windlass,  from  the  larger  to  a  part 
of  the  smaller  diameter."      ("  Dictionary  of  Mechanics.") 

Flemish. — Flemish  coil. — To  coil  a  rope  in  fanciful  patterns,  as 
in  the  figure  of  8.     A  Fretich  fake  is  a  modification  of  this. 

Flemish  eye. — An  eye  at  the  end  of  a  rope  not  spliced  but  sewn  with 
yarn.     (See  diagram  under  Eye.) 

Flemish  horse  (in  square  rig). — The  outer  portion  of  a  horse,  the 
horse  being  a  rope  hanging  below  a  yard  upon  which  a  man  may 
stand  while  reefing  ;  and  the  horse  is  hung  upon  short  ropes  called 

Foam.— The  fallen  or  flying  spray  of  the  sea. 

Float. — Floating  anchor. — A  contrivance  of  spars,  sails,  or  indeed 
of  anything  that  will  float,  thrown  overboard  and  belayed  to  the 
bow  of  a  boat  to  lessen  her  drift  to  leeward  when  lying  to  in 
a  gale. 

Floating  bridge. — A  form  of  ferry,  hauled  by  chains  across  a 

Floating  derrick. — A  derrick  built  up  on  a  hull,  and  employed 
in  raising  sunken  vessels,  piles,  etc. 

Floating  dock.  —  A  huge  iron 
vessel,  having  a  double  case  with 
large  intervening  space  between, 
into  which  ships  can  be  floated 
for  repair. 

Floating  harbour.  —  A  break- 
water of  spars,  etc.,  fastened  to- 
gether and  moored,  as  a  protection 
for  a  vessel  lying  at  anchor  ;   its 

object     being     to     keep    off    the      FuuTING  anchor  or  Harbour. 
violence  of  the  sea. 

Floatsam.—(See  Flotsam.) 

Flood. — Flood  tide. — The  flowing  or  rising  tide.  The  tide  is  said 
to  be  at  its  flood  when  it  is  at  its  highest,  and  therefore  slack.  But 
the  turn  from  ebb  to  flow  is  also  the  flood,  and  it  is  just  before  this 
flood  that  vessels  which  are  waiting  for  the  turn  get  under  weigh  ; 
thus  we  come  to  appreciate  the  meaning  of  the  well-known  lines 
"  There  is  a  tide  in  the  affairs  of  men  which,  taken  at  the  flood, 
leads  on  to  fortune." 

Flood  gate. — A  tidal  gate  or  sluice  gate. 

Floor.— That  portion  of  the  inside  of  a  vessel  which  is  below 
the  water  line. 

Floor  boards,  foot  boards,  or  bilge  boards. — The  loose  planking 
lying  over  the  floor  timbers  and  flat  floors  ;  they  cover  the  ballast 
and  keep  the  bilgewater  out  of  sight. 

A    DICTIONARY    OP    SEA     TEKMS.  85 

:  Flat-floors  or  bearers. — Small  beams  supporting  the  floor- boards. 
(See  Flat-floors.  ) 

Floor  j) Ian. — A  longitudinal  section  of  a  vessel,  showing  her  plan 
at  the  water  line,  or  any  other  line  parallel  to  it. 

Floor  timbers. — The  lower  members,  or  "timbers,"  of  a  vessel's 
ribs  (for  the  ribs  of  ships  are  composed  of  several  pieces,  called 
futtocks).  The  upper  ends  are  called  the  floor  heads.  (These  parts 
are  illustrated  in  the  diagrams  under  the  heading  Frame.  ) 

Flotsam  (usually  pronounced  floatsani). — A  term  in  mercan- 
tile law,  as  also  at  sea,  meaning  goods  cast  into  the  sea  and  floating 
in  the  waves.  There  are  three  conditions  in  which  goods  cast  from 
a  ship  in  distress  may  remain.  1.  Flotsam,  or  floating  (as  above)  ; 
2.  Jetsam,  cast  and  sunk ;  3.  Lagan  or  Ligsam,  sunk  and 
fastened  to  a  buoy.  (See  under  each  heading.)  Such  goods,  if  no 
claim  be  laid  to  them  within  a  certain  time,  become  the  property  of 
the  Crown.  (See  Wreckage.  )  The  term  flotsam  is  also  applied  by 
fishermen  to  the  floating  spawn  of  certain  fishes,  or  shellfish,  as  the 
spat  of  the  oyster  in  its  swimming  state. 

Flow. — Flowing  tide. — The  tide  rising.  When  the  ebb  ceases, 
the  tide  is  said  to  flow  :  thus,  "  The  tide  flows  at  5  o'clock  "  will 
mean  "  the  tide  will  cease  running  down  and  begin  to  run  up  at 
5  o'clock." 

Flowing  sheet. — The  sheets  loosened  or  "eased  off,"  and  the 
ship,  therefore,  running  before  the  wind,  or  nearly  so. 

Fluke. — The  palm  or  hook  of  an  anchor.     (See  Anchor.) 

Flush. — Smooth,  or  of  an  even  surface — spoken  often  of  the 
joints  of  planks  when  placed  together. 

Flush-deck. — A  deck  running  from  stem  to  stern  without  the 
interruption  of  forecastle,  booby  hatch,  or  other  cabin  head.  (See 
diagram  under  Deck.) 

Fly. — 1.  Of  a  flag,  its  length,  the  perpendicular  height  being 
called  the  hoist,  height,  or  depth.  That  part  of  a  flag  which  flutters 
in  the  air,  in  contradistinction  to  that  part  near  the  mast,  is  also 
called  the  fly. — 2.  The  card  upon  which  are  marked  the  points  of 
the  compass. 

Flying  block. — A  large  flat  block  used  in  hoisting  tackle  of  yards. 

Flying  jib. — A  triangular  sail  set  out  beyond  a  jib  or  middle-jib. 
(See  Jib.) 

Flying  jib-b>om. — An  extension  of  the  jib-boom:  only  seen  on 
large  vessels.     (See  under  J  IB). 

Flying  kites." — This  popular  expression  has  its  origin  at  sea. 
The  smallest  and  highest  sails  are  made  of  the  lightest  material, 
for  which  reason  they  are  called  kites.  Such  are  the  smaller 
studding  sails  and  sky  sails  (sometimes  spoken  of  as  sky-scrapers). 
When  set  they  constitute  the  last  stitch  of  canvas  a  ship  can 
carry,  and  she  is  then  said  to  be  "flying  her  kites."  Hence, 
when  a  person  makes  much  show  with  little  substance  he  may 
be   said   to    be    "  flying    kites  "  ;     and,     in    commerce,    one    who 

86  A     DICTIONARY    OF     SEA     TEEMS. 

makes  much  exposition  of  paper  money  without  the  wherewithal  to 
meet  it,  is  worthy  to  be  placed  in  the  same  categoiy. 

Flyiiig  start. — A  start  for  a  sailing  match  by  boats  which  are 
already  under  weigh,  but  which  are  required  to  be  behind  an 
imaginary  line  when  the  signal  to  start  is  given. 

Fly-to. — To  luff  up  suddenly — i.e.,  to  run  head  to  wind  suddenly. 

Set  flying.     (See  under  that  head.) 

Fog. — Fog  alarm. — "  An  audible  signal  warning  vessels  from 
shoals  or  other  dangerous  places."  ("Dictionary  of  Mechanics.") 
They  are  of  various  forms,  such  as  bell-buoys,  trumpet-buoys,  etc. 

Fog -bell. — A  bell  struck  at  intervals  by  a  vessel  lying  at  anchor 
in  a  fog.  When  a  steamboat  is  in  motion  she  sounds  her  fog- 
horn—&  large  whistle  blown  by  steam.  (For  the  method  of  signal- 
ling with  these  instruments,  see  under  SIGNALS.) 

Folding-boat. — A  boat,  the  frame  of  which  is  collapsable  and 
capable  of  stowage  in  a  small  space.  Various  designs  have  been 
patented,  but  in  very  few  instances  has  the  folding  or  collapsable  boat 
become  popular. 

Foot. — Generally  speaking  the  lowest  part  of  any  object.  1.  Of 
a  spar,  the  lowest  end  ;  2.  Of  a  sail,  the  lower  edge.  The  lower 
weather  corner  of  the  foot  (i.e.,  the  end  nearest  the  mast  on  a  gaff 
sail,  or  nearest  the  foremost  point  on  a  head  sail)  is  called  the  tack, 
the  other  corner  being  the  clew. 

Foot-boards. — The  same  as  floor-boards  (ivhich  see). 

Foot-rope. — The  bolt  rope  along  the  foot  of  a  sail. 

Footwalings. — Narrow  planks  or  battens  laid  along  the  timbers 
(ribs)  in  the  lowest  part  of  a  boat.  They  answer  to  the  burdens  in 
large  vessels  and  protect  the  skin  from  the  weight  of  the  ballast. 
In  open  boats  the  footwaling  often  takes  the  place  of  the  flat-floors. 

Fore-foot. — The  fore  end  of  a  ship's  keel,  upon  which  the  stem- 
post  is  stepped. 

Fore. — Forepart  (of  a  vessel). — Forward. 

Fore-and-aft. — A  term  much  used  throughout  this  work,  for  it 
describes  one  of  the  only  two  manners  in  which  sails  can  be  applied 
to  a  vessel.  The  meaning  of  the  term  ' '  fore-and-aft  "  is,  in  the 
direction  of  a  line  drawn  from  stem  to  stern  of  a  vessel ;  that  is,  from 
the  forward  or  fore  to  the  after  or  aft  part ;  and  such  sails,  yards, 
and  spars  as  are  set  in  this  direction  constitute  that  which,  among 
sea-faring  men,  is  known  as  fore-and-aft  rig.  Such  sails  as  yachts 
and  sailing  boats  cany  are  fore-and-aft  sails;  and  such  as  are  set 
in  a  direction  across  the  ship  are  called  square  sails,  constituting  the 
square  rig  of  most  merchantmen.     (See  RlG.) 

Forecastle  (pronounced  fokesH). — Properly  speaking,  the  for- 
ward deck,  which  is  often  raised  above  the  main  deck  ;  hence  its 
name.  The  space  beneath  it  is  the  cabin  of  the  crew ;  and  this  is 
popularly  called  the  forecastle.  Monkey  forecastle  is  another  name 
for  a  smaller  forecastle  or  anchor  deck.     (See  diagram  under  Deck.) 

Forecourse. — In  square  rig,  the  lowest  sail  on  the  fore-mast. 
It  is  sometimes  called  the  fore-sail.     (See  COURSES.) 

A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEEMS.  67 

In  shipbuilding  and  seamanship  the  following,  among  other  terms, 
are  used  : — 

Fore-foot. — The  fore  end  of  a  ship's  keel,  on  which  the  stem-post 
is  stepped. 

Fore-halyard,  or  foresail  halyard. — The  rope  or  halyard  which 
elevates  the  foresail.  In  fore-and-aft  rig  it  has  its  origin  at  a 
point  near  the  mast  head,  from  which  it  runs  downwards  towards 
the  stem-head  of  the  boat,  and  passing  through  a  movable  block, 
returns  through  a  rixed  block  on  the  mast,  to  the  deck,  where  it 
belays,  in  small  craft,  usually  on  the  starboard  side  of  the  mast. 
When  the  foresail  is  to  be  set,  its  head  is  attached  to  the  lower 
block,  which  is  furnished  with  a  hook  or  clip-hooks,  and  the  halyard 
is  hauled  up  taut.  When  it  is  to  be  taken  in,  this  lower  block  is 
brought  down  to  the  stem-head,  where  it  is  hooked,  and  the  hal- 
yards are  then  taughtened  just  enough  to  prevent  the  pendants,  or 
out-hanging  portion,  from  swinging  about. 

Fore-hooks. — Strengthening  timbers  in  the  bow  of  a  vessel,  bind- 
ing the  other  timbers  together.     (See  BREAST-HOOK. ) 

Foreland. — A  high  piece  of  land  jutting  out  into  the  sea,  as  the 
North  and  South  Forelands. 

Fore-lock. — A  sort  of  linch-pin  or  split- pin  through  the  end  of 
a  bolt  to  prevent  it  from  getting  out  of  position.  Also  the  braces 
of  the  rudder  (which  see). 

Fore-lock  hook. — In  rope-making,  a  winch  on  a  block  by  which 
yarns  are  twisted  into  strands. 

Foremast. — Generally  the  mast  nearest  the  bow  of  a  vessel. 
In  all  tliree  and  four-masted  ships  the  most  forward  is  the  foremast, 
as  it  is  also  in  such  two-masted  ones  as  the  schooner,  brigantine, 
etc.  But  there  are  several  rigs  peculiar  to  smaller  craft  (such  as 
the  ketch,  yaiol,  etc.),  in  which  the  forward  mast  is  vastly  taller 
than  the  sternmost,  and  in  such  cases  the  forward  one  becomes 
the  main  mast,  the  after  one  being  called  the  mizzen,  while  the 
foremast  is  absent. 

Fore-peak.  —A  space  in  the  bows  of  a  vessel  fore  of  the  fore- 
castle. The  name  is  also  sometimes  applied  to  the  forecastle  itself, 
when  raised  above  the  deck  of  a  sailing  ship. 

Fore-rake. — So  much  of  the  forward  inclination,  or  run,  of  the 
stem  of  a  vessel  as  overhangs  the  keel. 

Fore-reach. — To  overtake  another  vessel  and  reach  ahead  of  her. 
Fore-runner. — Usually    a  piece   of   bunting   attached  to  a    log- 
line  at  a  certain  distance  (measured  in  fathoms)  from  the  lead.     It 
takes  the  place  of  a  knot.     (See  Log.) 

Foresail. — 1.  In  square  rig  usually  the  forecourse,  though  in 
vessels  which  carry  no  forecourse  it  is  the  fore  stay  sail,  and  even 
in  ships,  from  the  fact  that  the  forecourse  is  not  always  set,  the 
fore  stay  sail  is  often  called  the  foresail.  2.  In  fore-and-aft  rig  : — 
In  the  schooner  it  is  a  gaff  sail  on  the  fore  mast.  In  the  cutter 
and  yawl  it  is  a  triangular  sail  extending  from  the  lower  mast 

88  A    DICTIONARY     OP    SEA    TERMS. 

head  to  the  stem  head,  running  by  means  of  hanks,  or  a  lacing,  on 
the  forestay,  and  corresponding,  therefore,  with  the  forestay  sail 
of  square  or  schooner  rig.  In  the  sloop  it  is  often  absent,  the 
fore  stay  being  run  out  to  the  end  of  a  fixed  bowsprit,  and  carry- 
ing a  large  jib  which  extends  aft  almost  to  the  mast.  The  value 
of  a  foresail  lies  in  the  fact  that  its  effort  is  within  the  boat.  This 
gives  it  a  power  which,  sometimes,  in  a  fresh  breeze,  will  bury  a 
boat's  head,  and  in  such  a  case  it  is  as  well  to  take  it  in,  leaving  the 
jib  as  the  only  head  sail.  But  it  is  in  consequence  of  this  power 
that  we  are  able  to  deduce  the  following  : 

Rule  for  working  jibs  and  foresail. — When  a  vessel  is  going  about, 
the  jib  acts  before  the  foresail,  but  its  power  is  soon  expended. 
It  is,  therefore,  brought  over  first  (as  soon  as  its  effort  is  seen  to 
be  finished)  and  sheeted  home,  Avhile  the  foresail  (by  laying  aback) 
completes  the  work  of  bringing  the  vessel's  head  round.  This  is 
an  operation  requiring  nice  judgment  and  some  little  experience. 
The  mistake  of  bringing  the  head  sails  over  too  soon  is  particularly 
to  be  avoided  :  it  may  almost  be"  said,  indeed,  that  it  is  better  to 
be  too  slow  than  too  quick ;  though  much,  of  course,  must  depend 
upon  the  general  behaviour  of  the  craft.* 

Balloon,  foresail. — A  large  foresail  used  in  racing  and  extending 
aft,  sometimes  beyond  the  shrouds.     (See  Balloon  Canvas.) 

Fore-sheets.  —  The  ropes  which  work  the  foresail.  In  square 
rigged  ships  it  is  the  aftermost  of  the  ropes  attached  to  the  clews  of 
the  fore  course,  the  weathermost  being  the  tack.  But  the  foresail,  in 
fore-and-aft  rigged  vessels,  being  a  head  sail,  running  on  afore  stay, 
and  therefore  corresponding  to  the  forestay  sail  in  a  ship,  is  worked 
by  two  sheets,  or  perhaps  more  correctly  by  a  doubled  sheet  looped 
at  the  bight  (or  bend)  to  the  clew  of  the  sail,  and  each  half  of  which 
is  brought  aft  through  fairleads  on  either  side  of  the  bows  to  be 
helayed  either  amidships,  or,  in  small  boats,  within  reach  of  the 
helmsman.  In  small  craft  the  fore-sheets  are  usually  distinguished 
from  the  jib  sheets  by  being  thinner,  running  inside  of  and  being 
belayed  forward  of  the  jib  sheets.*  In  fishing  craft  fore-sheets  are 
sometimes  dispensed  with,  their  place  being  taken  hy  pendants  on  the 
leech  of  the  sail ;  the  clew  travelling  on  a  horse,  and  the  pen- 
dants being  made  fast  to  the  shrouds.  This  constitutes  what  is 
called  a  "working  foresail."  A  stopper  knot  should  be  made 
at  the  end  of  each  fore-sheet  when  it  is  rove  through  its  fairleads, 
to  prevent  them  from  being  jerked  away.  A  figure-of-eight  knot 
answers  this  purpose  well,  and  is  easily  made.     (See  KNOT.) 

Fore-shore.  —  That  portion  of  a  coast  which  lies  beyond  the 
boundary  of  the  land  territory.  It  is  usually  covered  at  high 
water.  The  foreshore  in  estuaries  and  rivers  is  often  the  property 
of  the  lords  of  the  manors  adjoining  it,  otherwise  it  belongs  to  the 

*  As  an  invariable  rule  the  jib  sheet  runs  aft  outside  the  fore-sheet ;  this, 
indeed,  is  the  outcome  of  necessity.  It  eould  not  well  be  brought  inside  Iwithout 
sooner  or  later  entangling  itself  with  the  foresail  and  sheet ;  but  the  fact  must  be 
particularly  remembered  by  the  beginner. 



Fore-stay. — The  fore-stay  is  a  rope,  now  almost  always  of  wire, 
running  from  the  lower  masthead  to  the  stem  of  a  vessel  or  to  the 
bowsprit  end  :  its  office  being  to  prevent  the  mast  from  falling  back- 
ward under  the  weight  of  the  sails.  It  is  usually  eye-spliced  and 
passed  over  the  head  of  the  mast  and  down  to  the  shrouds. 
The  following  relates  to  full-rigged  ships  : — 

Fore-top-mast. — The  first  top-mast  on  the  fore-mast.    (See  Mast.) 
Fore-top-sail  and  yard. — The  sail  set  on  the  fore-top-mast  and  sus- 
pended on  the  fore-top-sail-yard. 

Fore-top-mast-stay. — A  rope,  or  stay,  running  from  the  fore-top. 
mast  head  down  to  the  bowsprit  end,  and  supporting  the  mast  from 
being  drawn  backward. 

Fore-top-mast-stay -sail. —  /] 

A  jib-shaped  sail  set  on  the 
fore  -  top  -  mast  -stay.  It  is 
often  called  the  middle-jib. 

Fore-top-gallant-mast  (pro- 
nounced "forty  gam  must "). 
— The  second  top-mast  on  the 
fore-mast.     (See  Mast.  ) 

Fore  -  top  -gallant  -  sail  and 
yard. — Tlie  sail  set  on  the 
fore -top -gallant -mast,  and 
suspended  on  the  fore- top- 

Fore- top -gallant-stay. — A 
stay  running  down  from  the 
fore-top -gall  ant -mast  head 
to  the  jib  -  boom  -  end,  and 
supporting  the  mast  from 
being  drawn  backward. 

Fore-top -gallant-stay-sail. 
— The  sail  set  on  the  fore- 
top  -  gallant  -  stay,  but  it  Is 
usually  called  &  flying  jib. 

Foi'e  •  royal  -  mast. —  The 
third  and  usually  the  liighest 
top-mast  on  the  fore-mast. 
(See  Mast.) 

Fore-royal -sail  and  yard. 
— The  sail  set  on  the  fore- 
royal-mast,  and  suspended  on  the  fore-royal-yard,  which  yard  lowers, 
or  is  "  sent  down  "  until  it  reaches  the  fore-top-gallant-yard,  when 
the  sails  are  furled. 

Fore-royal-stay.—  A  stay  reaching  from  the  fore-royal-masthead 
to  the  end  of  the  jib-boom,  and  supporting  the  mast  from  being 
drawn  backwards. 

Fore-sky  sail. — A  sail  sometimes  set  above  the  fore-royal.  (See 
Light  Sails.) 

1.  Fore-mast. 

2.  Fore-top-mast. 

3.  Fore-top-gallant- 


4.  Fore-royal-mast. 

5.  Fore-course. 

6.  Fore-top-sail. 

7.  Fore-top-gallant- 


8.  Fore-royal-sail. 

9.  Fore-sky-sail. 

10.  Fore-stay. 

11.  Fore-stay-sail: 

12.  Fore-top-mast-stay. 

13.  Fore-top-mast-stay- 

sail or  inner  jib. 

14.  Fore  -  top  -  gallant- 


15.  Fore-  top  -  gallant- 
stay -sail    or    tty- 


16.  Middle-jib. 

17.  Fore-royal-stay. 

90  A     DICTIONAKY    OF    SEA     TEEMS. 

Forge. — To  force  violently,  as  a  ship  over  a  shoal  hy  a  great 
press  of  sail. 

To  forge  ahead. — To  go  on  ahead  of  or  gain  upon  another  :  or 
simply  to  make  good  way. 

Fork-beam. — In  ship-building,  a  small  forked  beam  introduced 
for  the  support  of  a  deck  where  a  hatchway  occurs. 

Forming. — In  shipbuilding,  shaping  partially  converted  timbers 
so  as  to  give  them  the  desired  form  for  building. 
Forward. — In  front  of. 

Forward  part. — The  fore-part,  in  the  vicinity  of  the  bows  of  a 

"  Forward  all!"  (in  rowing). — An  order  to  rowers  to  stretch  for- 
ward, ready  to  take  a  stroke.  The  order  is  usually  given  preparatory 
either  to  "  go  "  or  to  "  paddle." 

Pother,  or  fodder. — A  method  of  stopping  a  leak  in  a  vessel 
at  sea :  it  may  be  done  in  various  ways,  but  the  principle  of  the 
practice  is  to  allow  the  current  of  water  into  the  leak  to  carry  so 
great  a  quantity  of  small  stuff  (such  as  the  threads  of  yarn  or 
oakum)  with  it  as  eventually  to  stop  the  leak.  To  effect  this  the 
loose  stuff  must  be  lowered  to  the  leak  in  a  piece  of  sail  cloth  or  some 
other  useful  material  and  be  allowed  to  remain  there.  There  is  no 
doubt  that  vessels  have  been  saved  by  this  means  ;  but  for  small 
craft  there  is  a  quicker  method  of  stopping  a  leak,  viz.,  by  passing 
down  a  piece  of  sailcloth,  packed  with  old  yarn  or  any  other  sub- 
stance at  hand,  and  drawing  it,  if  the  hole  be  large  enough,  into  the 
hole,  or  if  it  be  too  small,  by  fixing  the  cloth  with  ropes  round  the 

Foul. — Unpleasant,  as  bilge  water  may  be,  or  as  the  interior  of 
a  fishing  boat  may  become  when  she  becomes  infested  with  lice  or 
sea  slugs.  When  any  tackle  or  rope  becomes  entangled  it  is  said  to 
be  foul,  as  a  foul  hatvse,  which  is  an  entanglement  of  the  cable  of  a 

Ford  ground  is  dangerous  ground  for  a  vessel  to  ran  upon,  or 
which  affords  bad  anchorage. 

Foul  water. — When  a  ship  conies  into  water  so  shallow  that, 
though  she  does  not  ground,  she  stirs  up  the  mud  beneath  her, 
she  is  said  to  make  foul  water. 

Fold  tvind. — Contrary  wind,  preventing  a  vessel  from  making  way. 
To  ford. — To    ran   into   anything,   such  as  a.  pier,  a  buoy,  or 
another  boat,  is  to  foul  or  "  ran  foul  of  it." 

A  foul. — In  yacht  and  boat  racing,  to  obstruct  the  progress  of 
any  other  competitor  by  unfair  means  or  in  any  way  to  break  the 
rules  under  which  the  race  is  being  contested,  constitutes  what 
is  called  a  ford. 

Found. — A  vessel  or  boat  is  said   to  be  "  all  found  "  when   she 
has  masts,  rigging,  and  gear,  and  all  other  necessaries  for  going  out, 
and  "  well  found     when  all  these  are  good. 
Founder. — To  fill  with  water  and  sink. 

A     DICTIONARY     OF    SEA     TEEMS. 


Four-masted  Sailing  Ship. 

Four. — Fourcant  (of  a  rope). — A  rope  of  four  strands. 

Four-masted  ship. — These  sailing  ships  are  not  uncommon,  and 
may  occasionally  be  seen  in  the 
greater  ports.  Their  peculiarity 
consists  in  the  fourth  mast, which 
is  called  the  jigger  mast.  They 
are  full  rigged  with  the  jigger 
mast  bark- rigged.  Many  of  the 
large  ocean  -  going  steam  ships 
have  now  four  masts,  and  one 
large  German  sailing  vessel,  the 
"Potosi, "  has  five.  There  is  also  a 
class  of  vessels  called  four-masted 
schooners,  which  are  fore-and-aft  rigged  on  all  masts.  These  ships 
hail  mostly  from  America  :  they  are  very  fast  and  close-winded. 

Fox. — A  sort  of  strand  formed  hy  twisting  up  several  rope- 
yarns  and  using  them  as  seizings,  etc. 

Spanish  fox. — A  seizing  made  up  of  a  single  rope  yarn  untwisted 
and  re  twisted  the  reverse  way. 

Frame. — The  frame  of  a  vessel  is  its  skeleton.  The  principal  parts 
will  best  be  understood  by  reference  to  the  accompanying  diagrams. 

Frames. — "  The  bends  of  timber  constituting  the  shape  of  the 
ship's  body.     When  completed  a  ship  is  said  to  be  in  frame. " 

Frame  reel. — A  frame  upon  which  a  fishing  line  is  wound. 

Frame  timbers. — The  parts  of  a  futtock  (which  see),  as  the  floor 
timber,  middle  timber,  top  timber,  etc. 

In  the  accompanying  diagrams  the  following  constructive  members 
(parts  of  various  types  of  vessels),  described  each  under  its  own  head- 
ing, are  illustrated.  The  Roman  numbers  refer  to  the  figures ;  the 
italics  to  the  situation  of  the  members  in  the  figures. 

Apron,  IV.  g;  VII. 


Beams  (deck)  I.  w ;  II.  « ;  IV.  I ;  V.  ft ; 
(hold),  I.  y. 
Bent  timbers,  heads,  or  bent  heads, 

III.  e. ;  VI.  e. 
Bilge,  I. 

„      Bilge  keel,  III./;  VI.  I. 
Bowsprit  bitts,  IV.  r. 
Breasthook,  IV.  ft ;    V.  g  ;  VI.  /.    VII. 
.BitJwarfcs  (quick  work),  I.t;  II.  p;  V.l 


Carlines,  IV.  z;  V.  j. 

Case,  II.  j. 

Chocks,  I.  g. 

Clamps,  or  sea-scarfs,  I.  ft. 

Coaming,  III.  I. 

Counter  stay,  IV.  y. 

Deadwoods,  IV.  d  ;  V.  c. 

Deck,  I.  v  ;  II.  r.    IV. 

Deck-beams,  I.  w.    (See  also  Beams.) 

Fall  home,  I. 

False  Keel.    (S«  Kkki,.) 

Fillets,  II.  e. 

Flare,  I. 

Flat-floors,  III.  d\  IV.  u;  V.  t ;  VI. p. 

Floor-boards,  IV.  v. 

Floor-timbers,  I.  2:  V.  s;  VI.  n. 

Foot  waling s,  VI.  m. 

Freeboard,  I. 

Futtocks,  1. 1,  2,  3,  4 ;  II.  1,  2,  3  ;  V.  n. 
(See  also  Ground  Futtock,  Mid- 
dle Futtock,  Top  Futtock.) 




Garboard  strakes,  1.  m,  2 ;  II.  g ;  III. ; 

Ground    futtock,     otherwise     called 

ground    timber    or    first    futtock  ; 

and,  in  the  middle  of  a  vessel  the 

navel  futtock,  I.  1 ;  LL  1 ;  V.  1. 
Gunwale,  II.  in ;  VL  j. 

„        Gunwale  strake,  III.  h. 


Heads,  otherwise  called   bent-heads, 

or  bent-timbers,  III.  e ;  VI.  e. 
Head-sheets,  VII.  q. 
Hold-beams,  I.  y. 

Inside  planking.    {See  Lining.) 
Inwale,  VI.  k. 

Keel,  1.  o;  II.  a  ;  III.  a;  IV  a;V.a; 
VI.  a. 
„     False  keel,  I.  c ;  IV.  c ;  V.  a  2. 
,,    Rebated  keel,  II. 
,,    Keel  and  garboard  united,  III. 
Keelson,  l.b.ll.b;  III.  b ;  IV  b ;  V. 
b ;  VI.  b. 
„    Keelson  rider,  L  d. 
„    Side  or  sister  keelsons,  I.  e . 
Knees,  II.  d ;  V.  *. 
,,    Standard  knees,  L  k. 
„    Hanging  knees,  II.  t. 
Knighthead,  IV.  *;  V./. 


Limber  Boards,  I.  /.    Sometimes  the 
same  as  the  flat- floors  (which 
„    Limber  spaces,  II.  /;  III.  c ;  V. 
Lining,  I  I. ;  VII. 

Mast,  IV.  m. 

„    Mast-case,  II.  c;  IV.  p. 

„    Mast-step,  II.  c ;  IV.  n. 
Middle  futtock,  I.  2,  3;  II.  2. 

JVaceZ  futtock.     (See  Ground    Fut- 
Nose,  VI.  d. 

Outside  planking .     (See  Skin.) 


Pad  piece,  I.  x. 

Partners,  IV.  q. 

Planking,   inside    (See    Lining    and 

„    Outside.    (Skin.) 
Planksheer,  I.  r. 


Quickwork.  (See  Bulwarks.) 


Bail,  or  rough-tree  rail,  I.  u ;  11.  qi 

V.  m. 
Bebated  keel,  II. 
Bibs,  III.  e ;   IV.  s ;   V.  n ;   VII.  (See 

also  Futtocks  and  Bent  Timbers.) 
Biders,  I.  5,  6. 
Bough-tree  rail.    (See  Rail.) 

„         timber.  (See  Stanchion.) 
Bubbing  piece,  III.  j.  (See  Wale.) 

Saxboard,  or  gunwale  strake,  ILL  h  ; 

Sea  scarfs.    (See  Clamps.) 
Seat.    (See  Thwakt.) 
Sheer  strokes,  I.  p. 
Shelf.    (See  Stringer.) 
Skin,  I.  m. ;  II.  h. ;  VII. 
Stanchion    (Rough -tree    timber,     or 

timber-head),  1.  s;  U.n;  X.n  2. 
Standard  knees,  I.  k. 
Stem,  or  stem-post,   IV.  e;   V.  d;  VI. 
c;  VII. 

„    Stem-head,  IV.  j:  V.  e. 

„    Stemson,  IV.  /;  VII. 

„    Stem  hand,  IV.  e  2. 
Stern,  or  stern-post,  IV.  w. 

,,    Sternson,  IV.  w  2. 

,,    Stern  seat,  IV. 
Strakes,  I.  m  ;  V.  p. 

„    Garboard  strakes,  I  m  2;  V.  p  2 ; 

„    Garboard  and  keel  united,  III. 

,,    Gunwale     strake   or    saxboard, 
III.  h. 
Sheer  strakes,  I.  p. 

„    Thick  strakes,  I.  m  3 ;  m  4. 
Topmost  strake,  VI.  p. 
Stringers  (or   shelf),  I.  j ;   II.  * ;  III. 
m.  IV.  < ;  V.  r ;  VI.  r. 

„       Carrying  thwarts.    (See  Wir- 

Thick  strakes,  I.  m  3 ;  m  4. 
Thwart,  III.  p  ;  IV. 
Timber  head.  (See  Stanchion.) 
Top  futtock  or  top-timber,  1. 4  ;  II.  3. 
Transom,  IV.  *. 


Upper  deck  beams,  I.  w. 


Wife,  I.  m  4 ;  II.  J ;  V.  q ;  VI.  h ;  VII. 
IVate/'  ii»i«,  I. 
Water-ways,  I.  o ;  III.  k. 
Weather-board,  IV. 
Wiring,  III.  II ;  IV.  «  2. 



Fig.  II. 

w»<»  »&>!•[-)   Hn.ii-d *  j-1 

Fig.  III. 

Fir..  V. 


A     DICTIONARY     OP    SEA     TERMS. 


Fig.  VI. 

Fig.  VII. 

Fig.  I.— Half  Midship  Section  of  a  Wooden  Ship. 

a.  Keel ;  6.  Keelson ;  c.  False  Keel ; 
d.  Keelson  rider ;  e.  Side  or  sister  keel- 
sons; /.  Limber-boards;  g.  Chocks  for 
rilling  up  to  planking;  h.  Clamps,  or 
sea  scarfs;  j.  Shelf,  or  stringer;  k. 
[Standard  knees ;  I.  Inside  planking,  or 
lining  ;  m.  Outside  planking,  or  skin, 
made  up  of  strokes;  in.  2.  Garboard 
strakes ;  in  3.  Thick  strakes  at  bilge ;  m  4. 
Thick  strakes  above  water  line,  called 
wales  ;  p.  Sheer  strake ;  q.  Water  ways ; 
r.  Planksheer;    s.  Stanchion,  or  rough 

Fig.  II.— Half  Midship  Section  of  a  Strong  Cruising  Yacht,  Double  Planked. 

tree  timber  ;  t.  Outside  planking  above 
deck,  called  buhvarks  or  quickwork ; 
it.  Rail,  or  rough-tree  rail;  v.  Deck  ;  w. 
Upp_eE-4eck  beams;  x.  Pad-piece;  y. 
Hold  beams  (i.e.,  the  beams  in  the  hold.) 

1.  Floor  timber,  ground  futtock  or 
navel  futtock  (1st  futtock);  2.  2nd 
Futtock;  3.  3rd  Futtock  (middle  fut- 
tocks);  4.  Top  timber  (4th  futtock); 
5,6.  Riders. 

a.  Keel;  b.  Keelson;  c.  Mast-step;  d 
Knee ;  e.  Fillets ;  /.  Limber  spaces ;  g. 
Garboard  strakes;  h.  Skin;  j.  Case;  k. 
Stringers ;  I.  Wale ;  in.  Gunwale ;  n. 
Stanchion,  or  timber-head ;  p.  Bulwark 

planking_ ;  q.  Rail ;  r.  Deck ;  s.  Beam ; 
t.  Hanging  knee. 

1    Ground   futtock;     2.   Middle  fut- 
tock; 3.  Top -timber. 

Fig.  III.— Half  Midship  Section  of  an  Open  Sailing-Boat. 
a.  Keel ;  b.  Keelson ;  c.  Limber  spaces ;       the  gunwale) ;  k.  Water-way  (side  deck) ; 
d.  Flat  floor ;  e.  Bent  timber,  head,  or       I.  Coaming ;    in.    Stringer ;   n.    Wiring 
bent    head   (rib)  ;      /.    Bilge    keel ;   g.       (stringers  carrying  thwarts) ;  p.  Thwart 
Planking;     h.    Saxboard,    or    gunwale       (seat), 
strake;  j.  Rubbing  piece  (the  edge  of 

Fig.  IV.— Longitudinal  Section 
a.  Keel;  6.  Keelson;  c.  False  keel; 
d.  Deadwoods  (stem  and  stern)  ;  e. 
stem-post ;  e  2.  Stem-band ;  /.  Stemson ; 
g.  Apron;  h,  Breasthook;  j.  Stem-head; 
'k.  Knighthead;  I.  Beams;  ra.  Mast; 
n.  Mast-step  ;  p.  Mast-case ;  q.  Partners ; 

Fig.  V.— Part  Frame 
o.  Keel ;  a  2.  False  keel ;  b.  Keelson ; 
c.  D3adwood;  d.  Stem-post;  e.  Stem- 
liead;  /.  Knighthead;  g.  Breasthook; 
h.  Beams;  j.  Carlines;  k.  Knees;  I. 
Bulwark  planking ;  m.  Rough-tree  rail ; 

of  a  Half-Decked  Sailing-Boat. 
r.  Bowsprit  bitts ;  s.  Ribs,  or  tim- 
bers;  t  Stringers;  t  2.  Wiring  (string- 
ers carrying  tlvwarts);  it.  Flat  floors; 
v.  Floor  boards;  w.  Stern-post;  w  2. 
Starnson ;  x.  Transom  ;  y.  Counter  staj ; 
z.  Carline. 

of  a  Fishing  Vessel. 

ii.  Futtocks  (ribs);  n  2.  Stanchion,  or 
timber  head ;  p.  Strakes ;  p  2.  Gar- 
board strakes ;  q.  Wale ;  r.  Stringers ;  s. 
Foot-timbers ;  t.  Flat  floors.  1,  Ground 

A    DICTIONARY     OF     SEA     TERMS.  95 

Fig.  VI.— Part  Frame  of  an  Open  Boat. 

a.  Keel ;    b.  Keelson  ;    c.  Stem  ;     d.  bing  piece ;  j.  Gunwale ;  k.  Inwale ;   I. 

Nose ;   e.  Bent  heads,    heads,  or  bent  Bilge  Keel ;  m.  Foot  walings ;  n.  Floor 

timbers;    f.  Breasthook;    g.   Saxboard  timbers;  p.  Flat  floors;  q.  Head  sheets; 

(the  topmost  strake);  h.  Wale,  or  rub-  r.  Stringers. 

Fig.  VII.— (l)  Section  of  Stem-post  and  Apron. 
(2)  Stem  and  Breasthook. 

Frapping. — In  emergency,  the  bracing  together  of  ropes  so 
as  to  increase  their  tension.  The  term  also  sometimes  signifies  the 
binding  up  of  anything  with  ropes  to  prevent  its  bursting,  a  practice 
which,  as  applied  to  ships,  appears  to  be  very  ancient,  for  St.  Luke 
mentions,  in  his  description  of  St.  Paul's  voyage  (Acts  xxvii.,  17), 
that  "  they  used  helps,  undergirding  the  ship."  But  the  practice  is 
extinct  :  Falconer,  writing  more  than  a  century  since,  describes  it 
even  then  as  a  remnant  of  the  floating  coffins.  The  word  frap  still 
exists,  however,  meaning  "  to  bind  "  or  "  draw  together.  At  sea 
the  /rapping <s  of  the  shrouds  (to  the  masts)  are  called  cat-harpings. 

Fray.— To  become  torn  at  the  edge,  as  of  a  sail ;  or  untwisted, 
as  of  a  rope. 

Free. — Sailing  free. — Sailing  with  the  wind  abaft  the  beam. 
Freeboard. — That  portion  of  the  vessel's  side  which  is  "  free  " 
of   the  water ;    that    is,   which   is   not   submerged.     Its   extent  is 
measured  from  the  load  water  line  to  the  deck  where  the  distance 
is  shortest.     (See  diagrams  under  FRAME.) 

Freight. — The  sum  of  money  paid  for  the  hire  of  a  vessel  or 
part  of  her  is  her  freightage.  Hence  that  which  she  carries  has  come 
to  be  regarded  as  her  freight. 

French. — The      word     "  freshen  "     is     sometimes    pronounced 
"  Frenchen  "  as  in  frenchen  hawse,  etc. 
French  f alee. — A  species  of  Flemish  coil  (which  see). 
Fresh. — Fresh  breeze  or  fresh  gale. — That  which  on  shore  might 
be  called  a  high  wind.     Thus  the  wind  may  be  said  to  be  blowing 

Freshen,  freshen  tip. — To  slacken  off,  as  of  a  rope. 
Freshen  hawse. — To  let  the  cable  veer  out  a  little.  The  term  is 
a  relic  of  the  days  of  rope  cables,  which,  being  always  liable  to 
chafe  and  wear  bare  at  the  hawse  holes,  were  constantly  being 
freshened.  They  were  served  with  canvas  or  leather  ;  but  this  serving 
being  quickly  worn  through  required  constant  fresh  application  of 
the  service  (binding  material)  ;  and  this  was  called  freshening. 

Fresh  way. — When  a  vessel  increases  her  speed  she  is  said  to  get 
fresh  way. 

Fret. — To  chafe. 

Frigate. — In  the  modern  meaning  a  full-rigged  ship.  (See 
Full-rigged  Ship.)  The  old  first-class  line  of  battle  ships,  in  the 
days  of  our  wooden  walls,  were  full-rigged,  with  three  decks,  while 

96  A     DICTIONARY     OP     SEA     TEEMS. 

the  frigates  had  hut  two  ;  and  this  appears  to  have  heen  their  dis- 
tinguishing mark,  for  they  also  were  full-rigged.  A  frigate  was 
supposed  to  be  a  fast  sailing  vessel  for  cruising  alone,  or  in  company 
with  only  one  or  two  others,  or  for  escorting  merchantmen,  and  was 
not  a  line  of  battle  ship.  Some  of  the  ironclad  ships  built  in  later 
years,  though  powerful  steam  vessels,  were  of  this  rig,  as  are  also 
many  of  the  fine  merchantmen  trading  with  the  colonies  to-day. 
The  old  East  Indiamen  were  often  frigate-built.  This,  according 
to  Falconer,  "  implies  the  disposition  of  the  decks  of  such  merchant- 
ships  as  have  a  descent  of  four  or  five  steps  from  the  quarter -deck 
and  forecastle  into  the  waist,  in  contradistinction  to  those  whose  decks 
are  on  a  continued  line  for  the  whole  length  of  the  ship,  which  are 
called  galley  built." 

Frigatoon.— The  original  frigate  is  said  to  have  been  a  Medi- 
terranean vessel,  propelled  by  both  oars  and  sails.  At  a  later  time 
a  frigatoon  is  described  as  "  a  Venetian  vessel  built  with  a  square 
stern ;  without  any  foremast ;  having  only  a  main  mast,  a  mizzer 
mast,  and  bolt-sprit, used  in  the  Adriatick  Sea"  (Bailey's Dictionary); 
Smyth  describes  this  vessel  as  having  main  and  jigger  masts  and 
bowsprit,  with  square  stern. 

Frost  lamp. — A  lamp  at  one  time  used  in  light-houses  ;  its  ad- 
vantage being  that  the  oil  was  kept  running  in  cold  weather. 

Full.— A  sail  is  said  to  be  full  when  every  inch  of  it  is  drawing. 
Hence,  keep  her  full  will  mean  keep  her  drawing  ;  or,  in  other 
words,  do  not  go  too  close  to  the  wind. 

Full  and  by  the  wind. — Sailing  with  the  wind  ahead  of  the 
beam.     (See  under  C  LOSE-HAULED. ) 

Full-rigged  ship;  ship;  or 
frigate. — A  ship  having  three 
masts  with  their  full  complement 
of  sails,  or,  in  other  words,  hav- 
ing royal  masts.  Until  the  intro- 
duction of  four  -  masted  sailing 
ships,  the  "  ship "  hail  all  the 
masts,  sails,  spars,  etc.,  that  it 
was  possible  to  carry.  In  modern 
times   the   name    "Frigate"    has  full-rigg^u.p. 

been  given  to  these  ships. 

Fumigate. — It  is  the  practice  to  fumigate  certain  craft,  such 
as  fishing  vessels,  from  time  to  time,  when  they  become  infested 
with  vermin.  Enormous  lice  often  swarm  in  these  boats,  and^must 
be  smoked  out  by  lighting  a  fire  over  which  sulphur  and  tar  or 
sulphur  alone  is  thrown,  and  shutting  down  the  hatches  for  a  con- 
siderable length  of  time. 

Funnel  (of  a  steam  boat). — The  chimney  for  carrying  off  the 
smoke,  often  called  the  smoke  stable.  But  it  also  plays  an  important 
part  in  creating  a  draught  for  the  furnacss,  and  in  later  times  has 
sometimes  been  made  telescopic,  so  as  to  regulate  this  draught. 




Funny.— A  narrow  sculling  boat,  pointed  bow  and  stem,  and 
open  throughout,  accommodating  only  one  person,  and  at  one  time 
employed  in  sculling  matches  : 
it  was  usually  clincher-built. 
The  funny  was  never  a  snccess- 
ful  type  of  boat,  being  very 
difficult  to  keep  steady,  and 
was  quickly  superseded  by  the 
whiff,  and  that  again  by  the  wager  or  best  boat. 

Furl. — To  roll  a  sail  and  confine  it  to  its  yard  or  boom. 

Furling  lines. — Short  ropes  which  are  used  to  secure  a  sail  to  the 
yard  or  boom,  when  furled.      They  are  also  called  gaskets  and  ties. 

"  Furling  in  a  body  is  a  particular  method  of  rolling  up  a  topsail, 
>nly  practised  in  harbours,  and  is  performed  by  gathering  all  the 
oose  part  of  the  sail  into  the  bunt,  about  the  top-mast,  whereby  the 
ard  appears  much  thinner  and  lighter  than  when  the  sail  is  furled 
ver  all  at  sea. "  (Falconer.) 

Furniture. — The  masts  and  rigging  of  a  vessel  with  all  acces- 
iories  constitute  that  which  is  sometimes  called  its  furniture. 

Futtock.— This  term  is  evidently  derived  from  the  lowest  part, 
ov/ool,  of  a  timber,  and  from  the  hooked  shape  of  the  piece  ;  hence, 
/•jot-hook  (a  hook,  in  shipbuilding,  being  anything  bent  or  incur- 
vated).  In  shipbuilding,  a  futtock  is  one  of  the  members  com- 
posing the  ribs  of  a  vessel.  The  ribs  of  large  ships  cannot  be  made 
of  one  piece,  as  can  those  of  open  boats ;  they  consist,  therefore,  of 
several  pieces  or  members,  scarfed  together,  each  one  being  called  a 
"futtock."  The  lowest  of  these  is  the  floor  timber,  also  called  the 
ground  futtock  or  (amidships) 
the  navel  futtock  ;  the  one 
above  it  is  the  second  futtock  ; 
above  that,  if  there  be  one, 
the  third  futtock  ;  and  the  top- 
futtock  is  the  top-timber.  Thus 
the  floor  timber,  the  middle 
timbers,  and  the  top  timber  are 
all,  properly  speaking,  futtocks. 

Futtock-plank.  —  The  ground 
futtock,  or  floor-timber,  lies 
above  the  keel,  and  upon  it  ™ESTIE  TR£r 
rests  the  keelson,  which  is  bolted 
through  to  the  keel.  On  each 
.side  are  the  bilge  planks  (both 
inside  and  out),  that  one  near- 
est the  keel  on  each  side  being 
called  the  "  futtock  -  plank. " 
(See  diagram  under  FRAME.) 

Futtock-plate  (in  rigging). — 
Apart  from  any  connection  with 
the  futtocks  forming  the  ribs  of  Futtock-plate. 




a  ship,  the  masts  of  large  vessels  are  sometimes  furnished  with  an 
apparatus  called  the  futtoclc-plate  and  shrouds.  It  consists  of  an 
iron  plate  at  the  masthead,  set  athwart  the  ship ;  and  its  use  is  to 
extend  the  topmast  shrouds,  thus  (like  the  channels  to  the  lower 
mast)  giving  lateral  support  to  the  topmast. 

Futtoclc  stave. — A  short  piece  of  rope  hy  which  the  shrouds  are 
confined  at  the  cat  harpings. 


Gaff  (usually  pronounced  garf  or  garft). — The  spar  which 
extends  the  head  (or  upper  portion)  of  a  fore-and-aft  sail,  such  as  the 
mainsail  of  a  cutter.  A  sail  suspended  hy  a  gaff  is  called  a  gaff  sail,  in 
contradistinction  to  a  sail  suspended  by  a  yard,  which  is  a  square  sail. 
The  form  and  gear  of  a  gaff  are  as  follows  (see  fig.): — The  lower  end 
is  furnished  with  yaw*  (sometimes  called  hounds)  made  of  hard  wood, 
sometimes  metal ;  and  in  large  yachts  a  clapper,  or  tumbler,  is  fitted 
between  them  to  prevent  chafing ;  this  portion  of  the  spar  being  called 


***  .Hal 




''•Man.*  kaljard.  toltr 

TricitLq  litit 



the  clip.  The  jaws  partially  encircle  the  mast,  the  circle  being  com- 
pleted by  a  rope  on  which  several  round  beads  of  hard  wood,  called 
trucks,  have  been  threaded  ;  this  is  the  parrel,  which  allows  the  gaff 
to  be  raised  and  lowered  without  jamming.  The  upper  end  of  the 
gaff  is  called  the  peak  ;  the  lower  the  throat.  It  is  hauled  up  by  two 
halyards,  the  one  being  fixed  to  the  throat,  and  therefore  called  the 
throat  halyard  (or,  in  single  masted  boats,  simply  the  main- 
halyard)  ;  the  other  usually  at  two  in  pots  further  up  the  spar  for 
elevating  the  peak,  and  for  that  reason  designated  the  peak-halyard. 
In  raising  the  sail  these  two  halyards  are  hauled  on  together,  so 
that  the  gaff  may  go  up  in  a  position  almost  horizontal ;  and  when 
the  clip  is  well  up  the  peak  is  set  tip,  and  swigged  upon  to  make 
the  sail  hang  flat :  in  large  vessels,  a  tackle  is  employed  for  this 
latter  purpose.  In  each  case  these  halyards  pass  through  blocks,  the 
number  of  sheaves  in  which  varies  according  to  the  power  necessary 
for  lifting  the  sail.      The    block  through  which  runs  the  throat 



halyard  is  often  attached  to  the  gaff  hy  a  double-eyed  bolt  called  the 
main-halyard  bolt,  the  lower  eye  being  underneath,  and  carrying 
on  it  another  smaller  block,  through  which  another  rope  is  rove 
communicating  with  the  tack  of  the 
sail ;  this  is  the  tricing -line,  and  its 
object  is  to  pull  or  trice  up  the  luff 
of  the  sail,  so  as  quickly  to  reduce 
the  area  it  presents  to  the  wind. 
The  peak-halyard  blocks  are  carried 
in  large  vessels  by  spans,  which  are 
kept  from  slipping  by  small  excre- 
scences called  spurs  or  thumb  cleats. 
'  Over  the  guy-end  (after-end)  of  the 
gaff  is  fitted  a  cap,  or  end-ring,  with 
eyes.  The  ring  prevents  the  spar 
from  splitting,  while  the  eyes  serve 
to  carry  small  blocks,  one  for  the 
topsail  sheet,  another  for  the  peak- 
line,  a  thin  rope  used  sometimes 
for  hauling  down  the  peak,  but 
mostly  as  a  flag  halyard,  the  ensign 
or  some  other  flag  being  often 
hoisted  at  the  peak  as  a  signal.  In 
small  craft  and  yachts,  the  gaff  is 
always  lowered  and  stowed  away 
with  the  boom,  the  peak-halyards 
being  unshackled  when  the  sail 
cover  is  put  on,  and  then  replaced 
by  hooking  the  blocks  to  slings 
which  pass  under  the  boom  and 
round  the  cover.  But  in  vessels 
of  larger  class  it  is  often  set  with- 
out the  sail.  And  as,  in  such  a  case,  it  will  naturally  sway  back- 
wards and  forwards,  ropes  are  stretched  from  the  guy  end  of  the 
peak  to  the  sides  of  the  vessel ;  these  ropes  being  called  vanes  or 
vangs ;    The  sprit  of  a  barge  is  always  steadied  by  vangs. 

The  mainsail  of  a  cutter,  sloop,  yawl,  etc.,  being  set  up,  it  may 
be  desirable  to  add  another  sail  above  it,  which  is  known  as  agaff-top- 
sail,  and  is  elevated  by  means  of  a  halyard  passing  through  a  sheave 
or  block,  attached  near  the  head  of  the  topmast,  and  the  foot  of 
which  is  stretched  along  the  gaff,  whence  the  name.  In  this  sense 
any  topsail  on  a  gaff  may  be  termed  a  gaff-topsail,  but,  for  con- 
venience in  distinguishing  the  shape,  each  has  its  name,  as  jack 
topsail,  sometimes  called  a  donkey  topsail ;  jib-headed,  or  working 
topsail ;  spinnaker  topsail ;  and  on  a  yacht,  a  brig  topsail ;  by  the 
last  being  generally  understood  a  species  of  standing  lug,  extended 
over  the  main.     (See  under  Topsails.) 

Gain  the  wind  (of  another  ship). — To  get  to  windward  of  her. 

Gale. — The  term  as  used  at  sea  has  a  different  meaning  from  that 
usually  understood  by  it  ashore.     It  means  a  continuous  wind,  of 

ir  2 



which  there  may  be  several  degrees, — 1.  a  fresh  gale;  2.  a  strong 
gale  ;  3.  a  heavy,  hard,  or  ichole  gale.  "  Half  a  gale  "  is  a  popular 
term  among  seamen,  who  mean  by  it  as  strong  a  wind  as  can  blow. 

Gallant. — From  "Garland"  {which  see),  hence  the  usual  pro- 
nunciation of  the  word,  "  Garn, "  as  t'gam  for  top-gallant.  The 
word  has  considerable  use  at  sea.  {See  Mast,  Sail,  Stays,  Top, 
Deck,  etc.) 

Galleon. — A  name  formerly  given  to  ships  of  war  having  three 
or  four  batteries.  Later  applied  by  the  Spaniards  to  their  large 
merchantmen.  To-day  sometimes  used  in  talking  of  any  heavy 
looking  craft. 

Galley. — 1.  The  cook-house  of  a  ship.     2.  A  big  boat. 

Bow  galley. — An  open  boat  with  six  or  eight  oars,  used  by  custom 
house  officers,  etc.,  but  the  word  is  dropping  out  of  use. 

Galliot  (pronounced  by  the  fishermen  "galley-yacht"). — A 
Dutch  vessel  of  remarkable  type.  She  is  very  long  and  narrow, 
and  may  reach  to  100  tons  burden. 
She  is  fore-and-aft  rigged  with 
two  masts,  main  and  mizzen,  the 
latter  being  little  more  than  a 
jigger,  and  answering  the  same 
purpose  as  the  same  sail  does  in 
our  own  sailing  barges ;  that  is 
to  assist  the  rudder  in  getting  the 
vessel  round ;  and  for  this  pur- 
pose it  works  with  the  rudder. 
But  the  galliot  is  principally  peculiar  in  the  form  of  her  mainsail, 
the  foot  of  which  is  enormously  long,  while  the  head  is  extremely 
short.     The  vessel  is  now  rare. 

Gallows-bitts. — On  ships,  a  frame  for  the  support  of  spars, 
boats,  etc.  :  the  form  is  supposed  to  have  resembled  a  gallows. 

Galvanizing. — Nearly  all  iron  fittings  to  sailing  craft  are  now 
galvanized,  the  process  being  very  cheap,  and  its  effect  as  a  preserva- 
tive against  rust  lasting  a  long  time.  Articles  to  be  galvanized  are 
first  pickled,  that  is  immersed  in  weak  sulphuric  acid  and  water 
(about  1  per  cent,  of  acid);  they  are  then  washed  in  lime  water,  and 
afterwards  placed  in  a  bath  of  chloride  of  zinc  for  a  few  minutes. 
When  dry  they  are  continually  dipped  in  melted  zinc  (wliich  should 
not  be  at  too  great  a  heat)  until  a  sufficient  coating  has  adhered,  any 
excess  being  removed  by  ham- 
mering or  wire- brushing  while 
still  hot. 

Gammoning. — In  ships  the 
fastening  and  lashing  down  of 
the  bowsprit.     {See  fig.) 

Gammoning  holes. — The  holes 
through  which  the  ropes  used 
in  lashing  the  bowsprit  pass: 
(See  fig.) 


A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  101 

Gammoning -iron. — A  ring,  bolted  to  the  stem  head  of  a  sailing 

boat,  and  through  which  the  bowsprit  passes.     It  does  away  with 

the  necessity  of  gammoning.  (See  under  BOWSPRIT.) 

Gang. — A  number  of  men  employed  on  any  particular  service. 

Gang  board. — A  board  used  for  getting  on  board  a  vessel  from  a 

quay  or  pier.  I 

Gangway.  —  1.  A  narrow  platform  or  bridge  passing  over 
from  one  deck  of  a  vessel  to  another.  2.  That  part  of  a  ship's 
bulwarks  which  are  removable  so  that  persons  can  walk  on  board  by 
a  gang  board.  3.  A  narrow  passage  left  between  the  stowage  of 
cargo  in  a  ship  to  allow  of  a  man  going  down  to  make  examinations. 

Garboard. — The  lowest  part  of  a  vessel. 

Garboard  strakes  (sometimes  called  garboards  in  shipbuilding). 
— The  lowest  strakes  in  a  vessel,  which  abut  upon  the  keel.  They 
are  also  called  the  ground  or  sand  strakes.  (See  diagrams  under 

Garland. — A  ring  of  rope  placed  round  a  spar  for  the  purpose  of 
moving  it,  as,  for  instance,  when  swaying  a  heavy  mast.  Other- 
wise a  collar  of  rope  wound  about  the  head  of  a  mast  to  keep  the 
shrouds  from  galling.  A  garland  in  ancient  days  was  a  rope  used 
in  swaying  the  topmasts.  Hence,  when  a  mast  was  added  to  ships 
above  the  topmasts,  it  was  called  a  garland  mast ;  and  the  word  be- 
coming corrupted,  eventually  resolved  itself  into  "gallant,"  in 
writing,  though  the  original  pronunciation  "garn"  has  been  pre- 
served amongst  seamen  in  speaking  to  this  day. 

Garnet. — A  short  line  attached  to  the  claw  of  a  lower  square 
sail  or  course.     (See  C LEW-GARNETS,  under  Clew.) 

Gas-buoy. — A  large  buoy,  on  the  margin  of  a  shoal  or  channel, 
upon  which  a  gas  light  is  always  burning. 

Gaskets. — Small  cords  by  which  a  sail  when  furled  is  kept  bound 
up  to  a  yard,  boom,  or  gaff;  there  are  several,  as  the  bunt-gasket, 
the  quarter -gasket,  the  yard-arm-gasket.  They  are  also  called  ties 
and  furling  lines.  The  gasket,  in  a  steam  engine,  is  the  hempen 
plait  used  for  packing  pump  pistons,  etc. 

Gather. —  To  draw  in,  as  of  a  sheet. 

To  gather  way.  — To  increase  speed  in  sailing. 

Gatt. — A  channel  in  an  open  piece  of  water,  as  the  "  Fishermen's 
Gatt  "  in  the  estuary  of  the  Thames.  The  word  is  Low  German. 
A  gatt  must  not  be  confounded  with  a  gut,  which  is  only  a  small 
waterway,  whereas  a  gatt  may  be  a  sheet  of  water  many  miles  in 

Ganntlet  (properly  gant-lope). — Running  the  gauntlet. — A  form 
of  punishment  for  an  offence  revolting  to  the  feelings  of  the  whole 
crew  of  a  vessel,  and  therefore  giving  to  every  member  an  opportunity 
of  visiting  his  own  peculiar  displeasure  upon  the  offender.  It  con- 
sisted in  making  a  man  pass  down  between  the  whole  crew  formed 
up  in  two  lines  facing  each  other,  each  man  being  furnished  with  a 
rope -end  with  which  he  slashed  at  the  offender  as  he  passed.  The 
punishment   is  long  since  extinct,   if  indeed  it  ever  existed  as  a 

102  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEEMS. 

recognised  practice  ;  but  it  is  from  this  origin  that  we  have  the 
popular  expression  "  running  the  gauntlet." 

Gear. — A  general  term  which  may  mean  rigging,  tackle,  ropes, 
belonging  to  a  spar  or  sail,  or  indeed  any  part  of  the  working  ap- 
paratus of  a  vessel,  as  the  gear  of  the  helm,  which  consists  of  the 
wheel,  the  tiller,  the  chains,  the  blocks,  and  all  other  necessary  parts. 

Gearing  in  machinery  is  the  method  of  transmitting,  increasing, 
or  altering  the  direction  of  power,  as  by  cog  or  gearing -wheels. 

Out  of  gear. — Out  of  order,  or  if  with  reference  to  gearing  in 
machinery,  the  act  of  stopping  power  in  some  part  while  another  part 
is  still  working  is  to  throw  that  part  which  is  stopped  "  out  of  gear." 

Gib. — Another  word  for  a  pin  or  forelock  (a  pin  through  a  bolt). 

Gift  rope.  —  (See  Guest 

EOPE. ) 

Gig. — An  open  boat,  usu- 
ally clincher  -  built,  with  a 
straight  sheer  and  upright 
stem     and    gunwale.      It     is  Gig. 

one   of    the    boats   belonging 

to  a  ship,  as  the  captain's  gig.  At  one  time  the  gig  was  very 
popular  on  the  Upper  Thames,  but  has  now  been  almost  entirely 
superseded  by  the  skiff. 

Gin.— (See  Gyn.) 

Gimbals. — The  brass  rings  which  suspend  a  compass  so  as  to 
keep  it  horizontal.     (See  COMPASS.) 

Girdle. — A  rope  round  anything,  as  a  /rapping.  Also  an  extra 
planking  occasionally  placed  over  the  wales  in  old  wooden  ships. 

Girt. — Bound.  A  vessel  riding  under  taughtened  cables,  which 
hold  her  by  the  sides,  is  said  to  be  girt. 

Girt  line  (sometimes  called  the  gaut  bine). — A  rope  used  to  hoist 
up  a  mast  or  its  rigging. 

Give. — The  elasticity  which  every  boat  should  possess,  under 
strain  and  shrinkage,  is  called  the  give.  Every  member  in  the  build- 
ing of  a  vessel  is  allowed  a  certain  play,  or  in  other  words  is  allowed 
to  "  work. "  This  adds  not  only  to  the  strength  and  endurance  of  a 
vessel,  but  also  to  her  speed  ;  and  it  is  said  that  so  well  was  this 
recognised  of  old  that  pirates  have  been  known,  when  hard  pressed 
in  chase,  to  saw  through  the  beams  of  their  boats  for  the  sake  of  the 
extra  speed  to  be  gained.  If  a  boat  have  no  give,  the  strain  upon 
her  will  be  much  increased,  and  she  will  the  sooner  become  leaky. 

Give  her  sheet. — Ease  off  the  sheet. 

Give  way  (in  rowing). — Begin  pulling. 

Give  over. — To  stop  or  cease  doing  anything. 

Glut. — "  A  patch  at  the  centre  of  the  head  of  the  sail,  having  an 
eyelet  for  the  becket  rope."     ("  Dictionary  of  Mechanics.") 

Go. — Go! — The  order  to  start,  in  racing  :  it  is  generally  pre- 
ceded by  the  question,  "  Are  you  ready?"  and  if  no  answer  is  given, 
the  word  "  Go  "  follows  almost  immediately. 



Go  about  (in  sailing). — To  come  round  head  to  wind,  so  as  to  come 
on  the  other  tack.    (See  Tack.) 

Go  by. — To  give  a  person  the  go  hy  is  to  pass,  overtake  or  escape 
from  him. 

Go  a-head! — Go  on  !  order  on  steamers  to  start  the  engine  forward. 

Going  free. — In  sailing,  the  same  as  sailing  free  or  large.  (See 
Sailing  Free.) 

Gondola. — A  Venetian  boat. 

"  'Tis  a  long  covered  boat  that's  common  here, 

Carved  at  the  prow,  built  lightly  but  compactly, 
Rowed  by  two  rowers,  each  called  'Gondolier,' 

It  glides  along  the  water  looking  blackly, 
Just  like  a  coffin  clapt  in  a  canoe, 

Where  none  can  make  out  what  you  say  or  do. — " 

(Byron—"  Beppo.") 

Gone. — Broken  away ;   spoken  of  any  sail  or  spar  on  a  vessel. 

Gone. — A  common  way  of  expressing  that  some  person  has  sunk, 
if  drowning,  or  under  any  other  circumstances  to  give  notice  of 
death  without  the  necessity  of  using  the  word.  In  this  sense  the 
term  is  much  used  amongst  seafaring  folk. 

Goodgeons  (Goodgeons  and  pintles). — The  fittings  of  a  rudder  to 
its  stempost.  The  goodgeons  (pro- 
nounced gudgeons),  also  called  braces, 
are  those  bands  of  iron,  terminating  in 
eyes  (and  secured  sometimes  to  the 
rudder,  sometimes  to  the  sternpost,  and 
•sometimes  one  on  each)  into  which  the 
pintles  are  inserted.  The  pintles  are 
the  long  hooks  which  fall  into  the 
goodgeons.  This  arrangement  allows 
the  rudder  to  swing  freely,  and  to  he 
unshipped  or  shipped  as  may  be  re- 
quired.    (See  diagram  under  KuDDER. ) 

Goose  (Gooseneck  and  shaffle). — 
The  fitting  of  a  boom  to  a  mast  by 
means  of  a  kind  of  pin  or  hook  at  the 
heel  of  a  boom  which  fits  into  a  ring  or  short 
cylinder  on  the  mast.  The  pin  is  called  the 
gooseneck,  probably  because  it  is — (in  its 
simplest,  hook  form)  so  curved  as  somewhat 
to  resemble  the  neck  of  a  goose  or  swan. 
The  ring  which  receives  it  is  the  shaffle. 
But  a  boom  is  also  frequently  fitted  with 
jaws  (as  in  a  gaff)  which  partly  encircle  the 
mast,  and  in  this  case  there  is  usually  a  ring 
or  shoulder  called  a  saddle  on  the  mast 
which  prevents  the  boom  from  sliding  down. 
In  either  case  the  complete  fitting  may  be 
called  the  boom-stays. 

Goosewing. — The  shape  of  a  square  sail,  Goosewing. 

104  A   DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEEMS. 

when  the  bunt  (middle  part)  is  hauled  up  while  the  clews  (lower 
corners)  hang.  This  is  supposed  to  resemble  the  wings  of  a  goose, 
and  hence  a  sail  so  disposed  is  called  a  goosewing.  This  may  be 
done  when  it  is  required  to  reduce  sail  without  reefing,  as  in  heavy 
weather  or  for  scudding.  Studding  sails  are  also  occasionally 
called  goosewings. 

Gore. — A  small  piece  sometimes  introduced  at  the  corner  of  a, 
sail,  or  an  increase  in  the  depth  or  width  of  any  of  the  cloths. 

Gore  strake. — In  shipbuilding  an  angular  piece  of  planking  or  a 
strake  terminating  short  of  the  stem  or  stem  posts. 

Gorge  (of  a  block). — The  groove  or  score  in  the  sheave  (wheel)  of 
the  block. 

Graft. — To  graft  is  to  taper  the  end  of  a  rope  by  weaving  yarn 
round  it.  It  may  also  mean  to  join  two  ropes  together  by  splicing 
and  weaving  over. 

Granny  knot. — A  knot  improperly  tied,  i.e.,  One  which  will  slip 
or  come  undone  when  hauled  upon.  The  term  may  be  applied  to 
any  knot,  but  is  generally  understood  to  refer  to  the  reef  knot. 
The  tying  a  granny  is  regarded,  among  yachting  or  boating  amateurs, 
as  an  unforgivable  sin.  It  will  be  well,  therefore,  for  the 
beginner  to  become  familiar  with  a  few  of  the  knots  in  most  frequent 
use  before  venturing  aboard  a  sailing  boat.     (See  KNOTS.) 

Grapnel. — A  small  anchor  of  several  arms  or  claws  arranged  in 
a  circular  manner  at  the  end  of  the  shank.  It  is  mostly  used  by 
small  craft,  though  sometimes  as  a  hedge  (which  see).  Very  small 
ones  are  called  hand  grapnels.  In  old  times  the  grapnel,  or,  as  it 
was  then  called,  the  grapple  or  grappling  iron,  was  used  by  ships  in 
close  action  for  seizing  the  rigging  of  an  enemy's  vessel  and  dragging 
the  two  together  preparatory  to  boarding.  Grappling  irons  are  of 
various  forms,  and  are  still  used  for  various  purposes,  as  for 
holding  vessels  together  when  unloading,  etc.  (See  fig.  under 
Anchor.  ) 

Gratings. — 1.  (At  sea). — Open-work  or  trellised  frames  placed 
over  hatchways  or  lights  in  rough  weather.  2.  (In  boats). — Open 
work  coverings  to  any  part,  such  as  stern  or  head  sheets,  etc.  They 
are  ornamental  as  well  as  useful  in  allowing  a  free  circulation  of  air 
to  reach  all  parts  of  a  boat. 

Grave. — To  clean  a  ship's  bottom,  as  by  breaming,  which  is  burn- 
ing the  accumulation  off  her. 

Graving  dock. — A  dock  in  Avhich  graving  may  be  done.  A  dry 

Great  out. — An  expression  made  use  of  by  fishermen  when 
the  sea  recedes  to  a  more  than  usual  extent  during  spring -tides. 

Green  (Green  hand  or  green  horn). — A  new  hand,  or  a  lubberly 

Green  heart. — A  wood  imported  from  the  West  Indies  and  much 
used  in  the  making  of  piers,  etc.,  for  fendei  piles.  It  was  also 
originally  employed  for  the  pins  of  blocks. 



Grid-iron. — A  skeleton  framework  of  wood  upon  which  a  vessel 
may  be  supported  when  it  is  necessary  to  have  the  bottom  of  her 
inspected,  as  after  she  has  taken  the  ground. 

Grip  (of  an  oar). — The  part  gripped  by  the  hand.     {See  Oar.) 

Gripe  (in  sailing). — The  hold  a  vessel  takes  of  the  water  when 
under  sail,  or,  in  other  words,  her  tendency  to  run  up  into  the  wind. 
If  she  carries  considerable  weather  helm  she  is  said  to  gripe  well ;  this, 
however,  may  be  carried  to  excess.      (Sec  WEATHER  Hklm.) 

Gripe  (in  shipbuilding). — The  fore  foot  or  fore  end  of  the  keel  of  a 
ship  on  which  the  stem  is  set ;  or,  in  other  words,  the  sharpness  of  her 
stem  underwater  ;  which  is  made  thus  in  order  to  gripe  the  water. 

Gripes  (on  shipboard)  are  the  extra  ropes  and  gear  by  which 
boats  are  made  secure  in  heavy  weather. 

Grommet  (pronounced  "  grummet  "). — A  ring  of  rope  ;  or  a  loop 
formed  at  the  end  of  a  rope 
by  unlaying  the  strands, 
turning  the  end  over  and 
splicing  it  into  the  open 
strands;  and  sometimes  the 
splice  is  bound  with  yarn  : 
this  may  be  made  to  fit 
over  a  spar  and  to  carry 
a  block.  Where  only  small 
grommets  are  required, 
metal  rings  or  eyelets 
called  thimbles  are  usu- 
ally inserted  into  the  loop. 

Ground. — To  ground  is 
to  ran  aground,  or  ashore.  If  this  takes  place  with  a  yacht  or  big 
boat  when  the  tide  is  rising,  the  consequences  will  not  be  very  serious. 
With  the  aid  of  her  sails  and  sweeps  she  will  soon  float.  But  should 
the  tide  be  falling,  not  a  moment  is  to  be  lost.  Her  sails  are  so  to 
be  set  that  she  may  be  backed  off  as  the  wind  Alls  them.  The  best 
way  to  effect  this  when  the  wind  blows  off  the  shore,  is  to  haul  one 
or  both  of  the  head  sails  (jib  and  foresail)  over  to  windward,  and  to 
hold  the  main  sail  out  in  the  same  direction.  The  sweeps  or  a  pole 
may  be  used  to  help  her  off  at  the  same  time,  but  nothing  is  so 
efficacious  as  the  sails,  until  she  moves,  when  sweeps  may  be  of  the 
utmost  service.  If  she  does  not  move  within  a  very  few  minutes, 
there  is  little  chance  of  her  coming  off  until  the  tide  flows  again. 

Ground  swell. — At  sea,  an  undulation  of  the  waters  caused  by  a 
continuance  of  heavy  gales.  Such  ground  swells  are  transmitted 
with  great  rapidity,  even  against  the  wind,  and  sometimes  to  great 
distances;  they  indicate,  by  their  direction,  the  quarter  in  which  a 
gale  has  taken  place,  and  have  been  known  to  come  from  various 
directions  at  the  same  time.  The  swell  or  wash  (see  Wash)  caused 
by  a  passing  steam  or  other  large  boat  is  sometimes  called  a  ground 
swell.  This  is  not,  strictly  speaking,  correct,  although  it  is  cer- 
tainly the  case  that  a  steamboat  occasionally  does,  in  certain  states 


106  A    DICTIONABY    OF    SEA    TEEMS. 

of  the  tide,  create  in  narrow  channels  (such  as  a  river)  a  true  ground 
swell,  which  may  often  be  seen  coming  up  some  considerable  distance 
behind  her,  even  against  a  strong  run  of  tide.  This  is  not  her  wash, 
and  it  may  even  be  doubted  whether  it  is  in  any  way  caused  by  her 
wash  ;  it  is  more  probably  the  result  of  her  draught,  considered  in 
connection  with  the  depth  (or  rather,  want  of  depth)  of  water  in  which 
she  is  travelling,  and  the  speed  at  which  she  goes.  Her  wash  may  be 
followed  all  along  the  shore,  subsiding  as  she  disappears ;  some 
minutes  after  which  the  ground  swell  will  be  seen  coming  up,  wave 
after  wave,  not  drawing  the  water  up  to  it  and  breaking  upon  the 
shore  as  does  the  wash,  but  continuing  its  uninterrupted  course,  often 
gathering  strength  as  it  goes.  These  swells  in  rivers  are  sometimes 
very  dangerous  to  small  boats,  and  care  should  therefore  be  taken 
not  to  meet  them  broad-side.  Care  should,  indeed,  always  be  taken 
in  meeting  a  steam-boat,  as  at  all  other  critical  moments. 

Ground  taekle. — The  name  sometimes  applied  to  the  gear  belong- 
ing to  moorings,  anchors,  and  such  like  ground  implements. 

Ground  futtoeh. — {See  FuTTOCK. ) 

Grow.- — An  expression  made  -use  of  to  describe  the  position  of 
some  of  the  rigging  of  a  ship,  as  "  the  cable  grows  on  the  star- 
board side, "  i.e.,  runs  out  on  that  side. 

Growing. — New  boats  are  said  to  grow,  i.e.,  to  become  larger  when 
placed  in  the  water  ;  so  that  after  a  year  or  two  there  is  a  measurable 
difference  in  their  form  ;  and  for  this  reason  they  are  seldom  copper 
sheathed  until  they  have  been  in  the  water  a  year  or  two. 

Grown  spar,  or  ri'lcer. — A  spar  made  out  of  an  entire  small  tree, 
not  cut  out  of  a  large  one.  These  are  always  much  to  be  desired 
for  small  craft,  being  superior  to  the  made  spars. 

Groyne. — A  timber  construction  (sometimes  strengthened 
with  stone)  on  a  beach,  running  out  into  the  sea  or  from  a  river 
bank,  and  sometimes  set  in  the  direction  of  the  main  current.  It  is 
often  called  a  breakwater  {which  see),  though  improperly,  for  its  object 
is  not  so  much  to  break  the  force  of  the  waves  as  to  create  a  natural 
breakwater  by  accumulating  a  quantity  of  shingle  or  sand,  thereby 
elevating  the  level  of  the  beach  and  preventing  the  encroachment 
of  the  sea.     "  A  groyne 

is,  in  fact,  a  projection  "^^^^^^^S 

that  is  carried  out  from 
the  banks  of  the  sea,  or 
of  a  river,  in  a  direc- 
tion perpendicular  to,  or 
occasionally  inclined  to 
the  set  of,  the  current ; 
and  it  is  supposed  to 
act  in  the  first  case  by 
retaining  the  shingle, 
which   has   a   tendency 

to  move  in  the  direction  of  the  prevailing  wind  ;  and  in  the  latter, 
by  diverting  the  channel  in  the  direction  required."  (Brande  and 
Cox.)     Some    engineers   are   of   opinion   that   these    constructions, 

A    DICTIONAKY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  107 

unless   placed   so  close    together    as   to  throw  up  almost   a  con- 
tinuous wall,  do  more  harm  than  good  hy  creating  a  back  current 
on  the  down  side  which  carries  with  it  the  shingle  or  earth  they 
are  intended  to  accumulate. 
Gudgeons. — (See  Goodgeons.  ) 

Guest  rope,  guess  rope,  or  guest  warp.— A  rope  used  to 
steady  a  boat  in  tow.  It  is  an  addition  to  the  tow  rope.  Also 
called  chest  rope  and  gift  rope. 

Gun-tackle-— Originally  the  tackle  applied  to  a  gun.  It 
is  a  tackle  composed  of  two  single  blocks,  one  movable,  the  other 
fixed,  the  standing  end  of  the  fall  (rope)  being  fast  to  the  movable 
block.     It  increases  the  power  three-fold. 

Gun  tackle  purchase. — -In  sailing  yachts  the  tackle  applied  in 
drawing  down  the  tack  of  the  mainsail  is  sometimes  thus  called. 

Gunter. — Gunter's  scale. — "A  large  plain  scale  having  various 
bines  of  numbers  engraved  on  it,  by  means  of  which  questions  in 
navigation  are  resolved  with  the  aid  of  a  pair  of  compasses.  It  is 
usually  called  the  gunter  by  seamen."     (Brande  and  Cox.) 

Sliding  gunter. — A  peculiar  sail  adapted  to  boats.  In  place  of  a 
gaff  it  has  a  yard  sliding  up  and  down  the  mast. 

Gunwale  (pronounced  "gunnel"). — It  would  appear  from  the 
name  (gun  wale)  that  this  portion  of  a  boat  must  have  originally 
served  to  support  small  guns.  The  gunwale  in  vessels  rests  upon 
the  wale  (which  see).  In  an  open 
boat  it  is  the  top  of,  or  a  piece  run- 
ning round  above,  the  sax  board.  In 
it,  at  correct  intervals,  are  holes  for 
the  rowlocks  or  tholes.  The  inwale 
(where  it  exists)  is  beneath  the  gun- 
wale, supporting  it,  within-board,  on 
the  bent-heads  (ribs) ;  and  on  the 
outside  is  sometimes  fixed  another 
strengthening  plank,  then  called  the  rubbing  piece  or  wale.  In  such 
boats  as  the  Thames  skiffs,  where  the  sides  rise  up,  bike  wings,  to 
eacli  rowlock,  there  is,  properly  speaking,   no  gunwale. 

The  gunwale str alee  (in  open  boats  the  saxboard)  is  the  uppermost 
strake  of  a  boat.     To  it  the  gunwale  is  fixed. 

Gunwale  down  or  gunwale  to. — When  a  boat  casts  over  so  that 
her  gunwale  touches  the  surface  of  the  water. 

Gut. — A  small  channel,  such  as  may  be  left  by  the  tide  on  an 
ebb-dry  foreshore.     (See  also  GATT.) 

Gutter-ledge. — A  crossbar  placed  along  the  middle  of  a  large 
hatchway  to  support  the  covers  and  give  them  strength  to  carry  any 
weight.     (See  diagram  under  HATCH.) 

Guy. — A  steadying  or  stay-rope,  as  the  guy  of  a  crane  which 
steadies  its  arm  as  it  swings  a  weight.  In  sailing  boats,  it  is  a  rope 
which  serves  to  keep  a  sail  or  spar  in  trim — i.e.,  in  the  desired  posi- 
tion— as  the  guy  of  a  spinnaker,  which  keeps  that  sail  forward. 
A  slack  rope  extending  between  two  masts,  and  carrying  a  block  or 
tackle,  is  also  called  a  guy. 

108  A    DICTIONAKY    OP    SEA    TEEMS. 

Guy  end. — That  end  of  a  spar  to  which  a  guy  is  or  may  be  fixed. 
The  spar  is  then  said  to  be  "  guyed. " 

Spinnaker,  fore  or  after  guy,  are  the  names  sometimes  given  to  the 
ropes  or  tackles  which  haul  the  spinnaker  boom  forward  or  back  ; 
but  they  should  more  properly  be  called  the  spinnaker  boom  braces. 
(See  under  SPINNAKER.) 

A  guy  pennant,  sometimes  termed  a  lazy  guy,  is  a  rope  occasion- 
ally used  to  keep  a  boom  from  jerking  up  and  down,  in  a  rolling  sea  ; 
it  must  be  so  fastened  round  the  boom  that  it  can  be  let  go  at  a 
moment's  notice. 

In  ships  there  are  various  guys. 

Gybe. — The  swinging  over  of  a  fore-and-aft  sail  when  running 
before  the  wind.  This  may  be  done  purposely  when  slightly 
altering  the  boat's  course,  in  which  case  care  should  be  taken  that 
the  jerk  of  the  boom  and  sail  is  not  too  severe  ;  or  it  may  happen  by 
accident  and  almost  instantaneously,  in  which  case  there  is  danger 
of  carrying  something  away.  Gybing  may  take  place  with  the 
slightest  variation  of  the  wind  or  of  the  boat's  course,  and  should, 
therefore,  be  constantly  looked  out  for.  When  it  happens  unex- 
pectedly, the  helmsman  who  may  be  fortunate  enough  to  see  it 
coming,  should  rapidly  gather  in  his  main  sheet,  putting  his  helm 
hard  down  at  the  same  time  :  the  jerk  may  by  this  means  be,  to  a 
certain  extent,  taken  off  the  mast  and  stays,  and  the  sheet  can  then 
be  let  out  again  as  required.  Beginners  are  often  too  apt  to  let 
their  sail  gybe  :  it  is,  in  yachts,  a  very  dangerous  practice. 

In  large  racing  yachts,  however,  gybing  is  often  accomplished  in 
that  which  would  appear  to  be  a  most  reckless  manner.  The  boom 
is  allowed  to  fly  round  amain,  and  without  any  check,  its  weight 
as  it  swings  over  so  bending  down  the  boat  that  the  boom  strikes  the 
water  and  thus  saves  itself. 

Gyn. — A  hoisting  machine  on  three  tall  legs,  and  fitted  with  a  sort 
of  windlass?,  and  one  block,  called  the  gyn  block.     (See  Block.) 

Gyn  tackle. — A  system  consisting  of  a  movable  double  and  a 
triple  block,  the  standing  end  of  the  fall  (i.e.,  the  fixed  end  of  the 
rope)  being  fast  to  the  double  block.  It  increases  the  power  five- 

Haft. — The  handle  of  a  tool,  knife,  etc. 

Hail. — To  salute,  accost,  call  out  to,  or  make  a  sign  to  any 

Hake's  teeth,  or  hag's  teeth. — "A  phrase  applied  to  some 
part  of  the  deep  soundings  in  the  British  Channel.  But  it  is  a 
distinct  shell-fish,  being  the  dentalium,  the  presence  of  which  is  a 
valuable  guide  to  the  Channel  pilot  in  foggy  weather."     (Smyth.) 

Hale. — To  hale,  in  old  nautical  phraseology,  is  to  pull :  hence 
the  word  became  confounded  with  and  eventually  corrupted  into 
haul  (which  see). 



Half  Deck. 

Half. — Half  beams. — In  a  ship,  short  beams  extending  from  the 
sides  only  to  the  hatchways. 

Half-breadth  plan. — In  shipbuilding,  the  plan  of  one  half  of  a 
vessel  divided  by  a  centre  line  drawn  through  stem  and  stern  posts. 
It  shows  water,  bow,  buttock,  and  diagonal  lines.     (See  LINES.) 

Half-breadth  staff",  or  rod. — In  shipbuilding,  a  rod  having  marked 
upon  it  the  half-lengths  of  the  beams  of  a  vessel.  It  is  very 
precisely  measured  from  the  half-breadth  plan. 

Half  davit. — The  fish  davit  [which  see)  is  sometimes  thus  called 
because  it  is  only  a  short  davit. 

Half  deck. — In  ships,  a  space  in  the  fore  part  of  a  vessel.  In 
some  of  the  old  Northumbrian  colliers  the  ste  erage  or  forecastle 
deck  was  called  the  half  deck.  In 
sailing  boats  a  half  deck  is  one 
extending  over  only  a  portion  of 
a  boat,  the  rest  being  open.  For 
racing  purposes  it  has  been  found 
necessary  to  define  a  half  decked 
boat ;  it  must  be  open  aft  of  the 
mast,  and  forward  of  the  transom, 
this  open  space  not  exceeding  one 
half  of  the  internal  area  of  the 
boat ;  and  the  waterways  on  each 
side  must  not  exceed  (measured 
from  the  outside  of  the  boat  to  the  inside  of  the  coaming)  one  tenth 
of  the  beam  of  the  boat.  A  boat  that  fails  to  comply  with  these 
conditions  must  be  classed  as  a  decked  boat. 

Half  ebb,  half  flood. — (-See  next  page,  Half  Tide.) 

Hal 'j floor. — In  shipbuilding,  one  of 
the  timbers  in  the  frame  of  a  ship.  Its 
heel  is  set  over  the  keel,  and  upon  its 
head  rests  the  second  futtock. 

Half  hitch. — One  bend  in  a  rope  ;  part 
of  the  process  of  making  a  knot.  (See 

Half  laughs  and  purser's  grins. — 
"  Hypocritical  and  satirical  sneer." 

Half  man. — Aname  sometimes  given, 
in  coasting  vessels,  to  a  landsman  (which 
see)  or  boy. 

Half  mast  (of  a  flag). — A  flag  half 
mast  liigh  is  a  sign  of  mourning  ;  on  an 
owner's  vessel  it  is  generally  kept  thus 
until  after  the  burial.     (See  fig.)  '^V" 

Half-minute  glass. — At  sea,  a  sand 
glass  used  in  running  out  the  old  form 
of  log. 

Half    outriggers. — Short     outriggers  Flag  Half  Mast  High. 

110  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

fitted  to  narrow  skiffs.  They  are  considerably  used  on  the  Upper 
Thames,  but  not  often  elsewhere.     (See  diagram  under  RlG. ) 

Half  spike. — A  short  pike  originally  employed  in  boarding  an 
enemy's  vessel. 

Half  points  (of  the  compass.) — The  mariner's  compass  is  divided 
into  32  points.  (See  COMPASS.)  Half  one  of  these  divisions  is  half 
a  point.     A  half  point  is  therefore  5°  37'  30"  of  the  circle. 

Half  port  (in  the  Navy). — In  old  ships,  a  porthole  shutter  perfor- 
ated with  a  hole,  through  which  the  muzzle  of  a  gun  could  be  thrust. 

Half-rater.  —  A  racing  boat  whose  dimensions  comply  with 
certain  rules  of  rating  for  racing  purposes.     (See  under  RATE. ) 

Half  sea. — An  old  term  for  mid-channel.     (Smyth.) 

Half  seas  over. — Half  drunk.     The  term  was  used  by  Swift. 

Half  speed  (with  steam  vessels).    Reduced  speed,  ahead  or  astern. 

Half  tide. — The  condition  of  the  tide  when  half  way  between  its 
highest  and  lowest ;  with  a  rising  tide  it  is  called  half  food,  with  a 
falling  tide  half  ebb. 

Half  tide  rocks  are  those  which  show  themselves  at  half-tide. 

Half-timber. — In  ship-building,  a  short  futtoek. 

Half  turn,  ahead  or  astern  (with  steam  vessels).  An  order  to  start 
the  engines  ahead  or  astern  and  stop  them  again  immediately. 

Halyard. — A  rope,  sometimes  a  chain,  by  which  a  sail,  flag,  or 
yard  is  hoisted — hence  the  name — "  haul  yard."  A  halyard  is 
usually  a  tackle  (which  see),  and  in  such  a  case  consists  of  two  parts  : 
viz.,  the  pendant,  or  that  part  between  the  blocks,  and  the  end 
hauled  upon,  which  is  often  called  the  fall  (see  diagram  under 
that  head).  Halyards  take  their  names  from  the  spars  or  sails 
upon  which  they  act,  as  throat-halyards  (those  which  elevate  the 
throat  of  a  gaff),  etc.  For  reference  to  any  particular  halyard,  see 
under  the  name  of  its  sail. 

Hambrough,  or  hamber  line. — Small  bine  used  for  seizings, 
lashings,  and  a  variety  of  other  purposes  on  shipboard. 

Hammock. — A  swinging  bed  much  used  at  sea.  "  In  the  language 
of  some  tribes  in  the  West  Indian  islands,  the  word  hamac  denoted 
nets  of  cotton  extended  from  two  posts,  and  used  as  beds.  From 
them  the  word  was  borrowed  by  the  companions  of  Columbus,  who 
transferred  it  to  us  through  the  Spanish  word  hamaca.''''  (Brande 
and  Cox.) 

Hammock  nettings. — In  old  sailing  ships,  a  net-work  rack  in 
which  hammocks  are  stowed.  They  were  often  under  the  bul- 

Hamper. — (See  also  Top  Hamper.)  Height  aloft,  as  the  yards, 
topmasts,  etc.,  of  a  ship.  Smyth  describes  it  thus  : — '"  Things 
which,  though  necessary,  are  in  the  way  in  times  of  gale  or  service." 

Hand.— A  term  often  used  for  the  word  "  man,"  as  "  all  hands 
ahoy,"  "  another  hand  wanted,"  etc. 

Handlass. — An  old  name  for  a  windlass,  because  worked  by  hand. 

Hand  lead. — The  smaller  of  the  leads  for  sounding : — that  is  for 
finding  the  depth  of  water  beneath  a  vessel.     (See  Lead.) 



Hand  mast. — A  pole  mast.  Otherwise  a  mast  made  out  of  a  hand 
spar.  (See  below,  Hand  Spar.) 

Hand  over  hand. — Hauling  rapidly,  and  passing  one  hand  alter- 
nately over  the  other. 

Hand  rail. — A  rail  running  along  any  portion  of  a  vessel's  deck. 

Hand  spar. — A  round  mast  of  one  piece.  "  Those  from  Riga 
are  commonly  over  70ft.  long  by  20in.  in  diameter."    (Smyth.) 

Hand  spike. — A  bar  employed  as  a  lever  for  lifting  heavy  objects, 
or  for  working  a  windlass. 

Handle. — To  handle  a  boat  well  is  to  sail,  and  generally  to 
work,  her  in  seamanlike  fashion. 

Handsomely. — A  term  which  sounds  somewhat  contradictory. 
It  means  the  opposite  to  hasty,  and  is  used  occasionally  with 
reference  to  ropes  or  halyards,  as  "Lower  away  handsomely," 
which  would  mean  "  lower  away  gradually,  or  moderately,  but  not 
necessarily  slowly."  Sometimes,  too,  it  is  understood  to  mean 
"  bit  by  bit,"  as  "  Let  out  the  cable  handsomely !" — i.e.,  a  little  at 
the  time. 

Handy. — To  be  handy  is  to  be  capable  of  turning  a  hand  to 
anything  one  may  be  called  upon  to  do ;  and  especially  to  be  able 
to  do  it  quickly,  and  without  bungling.  A  boat  is  said  to  be 
handy  when  she  answers  her  helm  well  and  is  generally  well- 
behaved  under  all  circumstances. 

Handy  billy. — A  small  purchase  or  tackle,  sometimes  called  a 
jigger  purchase. 

Hang. — Spoken  of  anything  leaning  out  of  the 
upright,  as  a  mast  which  may  hang  back  if  too  taut 
in  the  backstays,  or  forward  if  too  loose. 

To  hang  on  to  any  rope  is  to  hold  it  tightly  with- 
out belaying  it.  "  Hang  on,"  as  an  expression,  often 
means  simply  "  Hold  on." 

To  hang  the  rudder  is  to  fix  it  in  its  braces  ready  for 

Hanging  knees.  —  In  shipbuilding,  knees  or  sup- 
ports fastened  under  deck  beams. 

Hanging  standard  knees  are  others  used  in  some- 
what the  same  manner. 

Hang,  or  sny. — Among  shipwrights  a  slight  upward 
curve  in  a  timber  is  called  a  sny :  if  its  tendency  is 
downwards,  it  is  said  to  hang. 

Hanks. — Kings,  of  wood  or  iron,  or  catch-hooks, 
by  -which  sails  may  be  made  to  run  on  stays,  or 
purchase  ropes  be  hooked  on  to  tackles.  (See  fig.) 
Thus  a  foresail  runs  on  to  the  forestay  by  hanks. 
The  mast  rings  are  also  sometimes  called  the  hanks. 

Hank  for  hank. — An  expression  signifying  that  two 
vessels  work  to  windward  together,  tack  for  tack. 

Harbour. — A  piece  of  navigable  water  communicating  with  a 
sea  or  river,  having  a  roadstead,  and  protected  from  storms.     There 




are  permanent  harbours,  tidal  harbours,  and  harbours  of  refuge, 
often  called   havens. 

Harbour  gaskets. — With  sailing  ships,  the  gaskets  with  which 
sails  are  furled  in  harbour,  or  when  it  is  desired  to  appear  smart* 
They  used  to  be  well  blacked  in  the  Royal  Navy,  so  as  to  contrast 
well  Math  the  whiteness  of  the  sails. 

Hard. — 1.  "  Hard,"  in  nautical  language,  is  often  joined  to  words 
of  command  to  the  helmsman,  signifying  that  the  order  should  be 
carried  out  with  the  utmost  energy,  e.g. : 

Hard  up  (of  the  helm),  or  hard  a'weather — to  put  the  tiller  of 
a  vessel  quickly  over  to  the  windward. 

Hard  down,  hard  a'lee — to  put  the  tiller  quickly  over  to  the  lee 

Hard  over. — To  put  the  helm  over  is  to  shift  it :  that  is  to  bear 
the  tiller  over  to  the  corresponding  position  on  the  opposite  side  of 
the  vessel  :  hard  over  is  to  do  this  with  the  utmost  energy.  These 
terms  are  more  fully  explained  under  the  heading  Helm. 

2.  Hard. — A  solid  path  or  way  artificially  (occasionally  naturally) 
formed  on  a  soft  mud  flat  or  foreshore,  its  use  being  that  a  boat  may 
land  its  occupants  there  at  any  state  of  the  tide. 

3.  Hard  and  fast. — Fixed  or  immovable. 

4.  "  Hard  up  in  a  clinch  and  no  knife  to  cut  the  seizings." — An  ex- 
pression sometimes  used  in  a  dilemma  out  of  which  it  is  difficult  to 
see  the  way. 

Harl,  or  harr. — A  northern  storm ;  generally,  however,  it  is 
understood  to  mean  a  cold  mist  with  easterly  wind. 

Harness. — Harness  cash  (at  sea). — A  cask  holding  food  for 
immediate  use. 

•  Harness  hitch. — A  knot  employed  in  harnessing  men  to  a  tow- 
line.     (See  Knots.) 

Harpings.  —  In  shipbuilding  cer- 
tain of  the  wales  (planks)  at  the  for- 
ward part  of  a  hull  are  thicker  than 
•elsewhere :  these  stronger  wales  are 
called  harpings. 

Cat  harpings.  —  Ropes  for  frapping 
(girting  in)  a  ship's  standing  rigging 
so  that  the  lower  yards  may  be  braced 
up  sharp. 

Harpoon. — A  barbed  javelin  used 
in  spearing  whales. 

Hasp. — Generally  speaking  afasten- 
ing,  such  as  a  clamp;  a  bar  dropping 
into  a  staple  ;  a  padlock. 

Hatch,     hatchway. — A     hatch- 
way is  an   opening  in  the  deck   of  a 
vessel  through  which  persons  or  cargo  may  descend  :  it  is  covered  by 
a  movable  frame  or  roof,  called  a  hatch ;  or  in  large  craft  by  several 





hatches  which  are  kept  down  hy  small  beams  or  rods  called  battens. 
(See  Batten  Down.)  A  hatchway  is  sometimes  called  a  "  scuttle," 
as  the  foreseuttle,  which  is  the  hatchway  to  a  forecastle.  (See 

Hatch  money. — An  allowance  at  one  time  given  to  captains  for 
care  of  cargo. 

Haul  (see  Hale). — To  pull  upon  a  rope.  But  Falconer  defines 
the  term  as  pulling  upon  "  a  single  rope  without  assistance  of  blocks 
or  other  mechanical  powers  upon  it. "  Thus  to  pull  upon  a  warp 
hawser  or  spring  by  hand  is  to  haul ;  but  if  a  turn  be  taken  with  the 
rope  round  a  capstan  or  windlass  it  ceases  to  be  hauling. 

A  haul,  in  rope-making,  is  a  large  bundle  of  parallel  yarns  ready 
for  tarring.  In  trawling  it  is  the  quantity  of  fish  brought  in  in  one 
lifting  of  the  net.  Hence  the  origin  of  the  term  in  general  conver- 

To  haul  the  wind,  in  sailing,  is  to  get  close  and  keep  close  to  the 
wind.     (See  Close-hauled.) 

To  haul  off. — To  get  closer  to  the  wind  so  as  to  avoid  some  object. 
Haul  forward. — The  wind  is  said  to  haul  forward  when  it  lies 
before  the  beam. 

To  haul  sharp. — To  keep  men  on  half  food  allowance  (old  term). 
Haul   under   the  chains. — When  a  ship's  masts  so  strain  on  the 
shrouds  that  the  pressure  on  the  chains  (or  channels)  causes  her 
seams  to  open,  she  is  said  to  haul  under  the  chains. 

Haunch. — A  sudden  decrease  in  the  size  of  a  piece  of  timber. 
Haven. — A  harbour  of  refuge.     Smyth  described  it  as  a  good 
anchorage  rather  than  a  place  of  perfect  safety.  Many  of  the  smaller 
rivers  of  our  coasts  are  called  havens. 

Hawse. — The  hawse,  with  regard  to  a  ship's  position  at  anchor, 
is,  technically,  that  portion  of  the  water  in  front  of  her  which 
•extends  from  the  ship  herself  to  the  point  on  the  surface  of  the 
water  directly  above  her 
anchor: — i.e.,  the  horizon- 
tal distance  of  her  cable ; 
and  a  vessel  is  said  to  cross 
the  hawse  of  another  when 
she  passes  athwart  the 
latter's  hawse,  i.e.  that  space 
in  the  water  ahead  of  her 
called  the  hawse.  From 
this  we  have  various  names, 
as  for  instance,  the  hawse 
of  the  ship — that  part  of 
her  Imjws  in  which  are 
the  hawse-holes ;  through 
these  the  haivser,  or  cable,  runs,  and  they  are  cut  out  in  large 
timbers  called  hawse-pieces. 
Hawse-pipes  are  the  short  iron  tubes  lining  these  hawse-holes. 

114  A    DICTIONAEY    OF    SEA    TEEMS. 

Hawse-blocks,  hawse  plugs  or  bucklers  are  plugs  for  stopping  the 
hawse-holes  when  the  cable  is  unbent  and  the  ship  at  sea;  or  in 
heavy  weather  :  when  in  the  form  of  stuffing  they  are  called  hawse- 

Hawse-clamp  is  an  old-fashioned  engine  in  the  form  of  a  heavy 
iron  gripper  or  clamp,  through  which  the  hawser  is  passed,  and 
which  prevents  it  from  veering  out. 

A  hawser,  in  the  modern  meaning,  is  a  small  cable,  or  in  other 
words  a  thick  rope  used  for  holding  a  vessel  to  a  quay  or  mooring, 
or  for  warping  her  along  :  it  is,  in  fact,  practically  the  same  as  a 
warp.  The  origin  of  the  term  has  possibly  some  reference  to  the 
word  "  haul,"  for  in  old  works  we  find  it  written  haulier. 

Hawser-laid  (in  ropemaking)  is  the  designation  of  a  rope  laid  (or 
wound  up)  in  the  same  manner  as  in  a  hawser,  i.e.,  iu  three  or  four 
strands.    (See  Rope.) 

Haivse  fallen  or  hawse  jail. — A  ship  is  described  thus  when  the 
seas  break  into  her  hawse. 

Burning  in  the  hawse. — An  old  sea  term,  used  when  the  cable 
endures  an  extraordinary  stress. 

When  a  ship  using  hawsers  to  her  anchors  has  two  anchors  out, 
and  the  cables  are  clear,  it  is  said  to  be  a  clear  hawse;  when 
they  become  entangled  in  any  way,  it  is  a  foul-hawse.  The 
twists  which  may  occur  in  cables  by  the  swinging  of  a  ship  at 
anchor  have  been  described  as  follow  : — If  the  cables  are  once 
crossed,  it  is  a  cross haivse.  When  another  cross  occurs,  it  forms  an 
elbnv.  If  a  third  should  come  about  it  is  called  a  Round-turn.  The 
act  of  disengaging  this  foul  (which,  should  it  come  on  to  blow,  may 
prevent  cables  from  being  veered  of  their  friction  against  each  other) 
is  called  clearing  haivse,  while  the  veering  out,  or  slackening  of  the 
cable,  whether  to  expose  new  surface  to  the  friction  in  the  hawse- 
hole,  or  to  allow  the  vessel  to  ride  more  free,  is  described  as 
freshening  hawse.  In  modern  times,  since  the  use  of  chain-cables 
has  become  almost  universal,  even  for  the  lightest  craft,  the  above 
described  twists  and  turns  are  no  longer  so  liable  to  occur.  Vessels 
which  need  to  put  out  two  anchors  ahead  for  any  length  of  time  now 
often  employ  the  system  applied  to  the  Lightships,  the  chains  from 
all  anchors  of  which  meet  at  one  point,  where  they  are  attached  to  a 
swivel,  and  joined  by  only  one  from  the  ship.  By  the  working  of  this 
swivel  the  vessel  may  then  swing  with  every  tide,  and  freshen  or 
shorten,  without  fear  of  " fouling -hawse." 

Haze. — A  thin  mist  such  as  that  which  often  overspreads  the  face 
of  the  ocean  in  summer  and  clears  off  as  the  sun  mounts.  A  haze  ik 
not  so  dense  as  a  mist.     It  usually  denotes  coming  heat. 

Head. — Generally  speaking,  the  upper  or  larger  end  of  any  ob- 
ject ;  but  under  the  term  are  included  a  great  number  of  meanings. 

A' head  means  forward  or  in  front,  in  contradistinction  to  a' stem 
which  is  belrind  or  backward. 

The  head  of  a  ship. — The  fore  end  of  her. 



By  the  head,  or  down  by  the  head,  implies  that  the  head  is  de- 
pressed, just  as  down  by  the  stem  or  heel  signifies  that  her  stern  is 

"  Hoiv's  her  head?"  is  a  question  often  asked  with  regard  to  her 

To  box  off  her  head  is  to  force  her  head  off  from  the  wind.  (See 
Boxing  off.) 

To  head  a  stream  is  to  lie  with  the  ship's  head  pointing  against 
the  stream  as  when  she  is  tide-rode. 

A  headland  is  a  cape  or  promontory. 

A  head-tide  is  sometimes  spoken  of  when  the  tide  is  against  the 

Headway.  —  Progress  forward  or  a'head.  A  vessel  when  she 
cannot  make  progress  is  said  to  be  unable  to  make  headway. 

Head  wind,  or  the  ivind  a'head,  is  a  wind  contrary  to  the  desired 
course  of  the  ship.  She  is  head  to  ivind  when  her  head  is  up  in  the 
wind,  or,  it  may  be,  when  she  sails  extremely  close  to  the  wind. 

In  shipbuilding  — 

Heads  are  the  timbers  (ribs)  of  a  vessel,  or  the  upper  parts  of 
them.  They  are  either  head  timbers,  that  is,  the  uppermost 
futtocks,  when  the  ribs  are  composed  of  several  pieces,  or 

Bent  heads  or  bent  timbers,  in  an  open  boat,  in  which  each  rib  is 
fashioned  out  of  only  one  piece  of  timber,  this  being  bent  to  its 
required  form  by  steaming. 

Head  of  the  keel. — The  forefoot ;  the  other  extremity  being  the  heel. 

Head  knee  or  cheek  knee.  —  The  principal  knee,  or 
strengthening  piece,  fayed  to  the  stem. 

Head  ledges. — The  thwartship  (running  across  the 
ship)  ledges,  or  planks  on  edge,  which  form  the  coam- 
ing of  a  hatchway. 

Head  sheets  (in  an  open  boat). — The  flooring  boards 
in  the  bows,  those  covering  the  after  floor  being  the 
stern  sheets.     (See  diagram  under  Sheet.) 

Stem-head. — The  upper  portion  of  the  stem  post  of 
a  vessel.  (For  illustrations  of  these  members  sec 
diagrams  under  Frame.) 

In  the  rigging  and  fittings  of  a  vessel — 

Head  of  the  bowsprit  is  its  forward  end. 

Head  of  a  dead-eye  is  the  outer  side  of  the  flat 
surface,  through  which  the  holes  are  bored. 

Head  or  drum  of  a  capstan  is  the  flat  upper 
portion  which  revolves. 

Headfast. — A  rope  fastened  to  the  stem  of  a  boat  or 
ship.     In  an  open  ltoat  it  is  called  &])ainter  (which  see). 

Head  lights  are  lights  carried  at  the  head. 

Headline  is  sometimes  a  rope  from  the  head  of  a  sail. 

Head  of  the  mast,  or  mast  head,  is,  roughly  speak- 
ing, the  top  of  a  mast,  but  technically  it  means  that 
part  of  a  mast  from  the  hounds  upwards.  (Sec  fig.) 

i  2 





Head  rope  is  the  head  portion  of  the  bolt  rope  of  a  sail  (ichieh  see). 
Bead  of  a  sail  is  its  upper  edge  ;  the  lower  being  the  foot.     (See 

Head  sails  are  the  forward  sails,  as  the  jib  and  foresail. 
Head-stick.— &  short  stick  fitted  in  the  head  of  some  jib-shaped 
sails   to  prevent  the   sail   from   twisting  and   the   bolt-rope  from 
kinking.     It  is  very  useful  in  boats.  ,  (See  fig.,  p.  Ho.) 
Heart. — A  peculiar  type  of  dead-eye  (which  see). 
Heart  or  heart-yarn. — The  inner  yam  in  a  strand  of  rope. 
Heave- — To  pull  on  a  rope  or  cable  with  mechanical  aid,  and 
therefore  to  be  distinguished  from  "  hauling. "  (Sec  Haul).  To  draw 
anything  up.     To  throw  anything.     To  come  within  view  or  sound. 

Heave  a' head,  or  a'stern. — To  draw  a 
ship  a'head  or  a'stern  by  an  anchor, 
a  warp,  or  otherwise. 

"Heave  and  away.1"  "Heave  and 
rally!"  —  Encouraging  terms  to  men 
at  a  capstan  or  windlass. 

Heave  and  paid.  —  To  turn  the  cap- 
stan until  the  pawl  may  be  dropped. 

Heave  and  set. — To  ride  heavily  while 
at  anchor. 

"Heave  Oh!" — An  exclamation  used 
by  men  all  pulling  together  on  a  rope  or 
anything  else.  Also  a  ciy  in  certain 
fishing  towns,  signifying  that  a  shoal 
of  fish  has  appeared. 

Heave  short.  —  To  bring  a  vessel 
directly  above  her  anchor  preparatory 
to  weighing.     (See  fig.) 

Heave  in  sight. — To  come  within  sight  of  another. 
Heave  in  stays. — To  bring  a  vessel  head  to  wind  in  tacking.     The 
meaning  of  the  term  is  explained  under  the  heading  Tack. 
Heave  taut. — To  pull  or  haul  anything  tight  up. 
Heave  the  lead.  —  To  throw  the  lead-bine,  when  sounding.     (See 

Heave  to. — To  bring  a  vessel  up  head  to  wind,  and  so  to  dispose 
the  sails  that  she  makes  no  progress,  when  she  is  said  to  be  "  hove 
to,"  or  "  lying  to." 

Heave  up. — To  draw  or  pull  up,  as  to  heave  up  the  anchor  or  a 
fishing  net. 

Hebbinff  (very  possibly  the  more  correct  term  should  be  ebbing). — 
An  old  method  of  taking  fish  as  they  come  down  a  river  on  the  ebb 
tide.  The  apparatus  employed  was  called  a  hcbbing  weir,  and  was 
extended  across,  or  partly  across,  the  stream.  There  was  at  onetime 
a  considerable  fishery  in  the  Upper  Thames,  both  above  and  below 
bridge,  for  smelt  and  other  salt  and  fresh  water  fish,  the  men 
employing   themselves   in    this   industry   being    called    hebbemien 

Heaving  Short. 

A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  117 

(ebb-men  ?)  ;  and  tbeir  boats,  called  peter  boats,  may  still  be  seen 
between  Hammersmith  and  Richmond.  But  when  the  drainage  of 
London  was  emptied  into  the  Thames,  the  industry  gradually 
declined,  and  eventually  no  fish  could  come  into  the  upper  reaches. 
Hebbing  has  therefore  become  obsolete  ;  but  since  the  system  of 
drainage  has  been  improved,  and  the  sewage  no  longer  pollutes  the 
water,  the  fish  have  gradually  penetrated  further  up ;  and  it  is  not 
impossible  that  they  may,  in  years  to  come,  once  more  pass  througL 
the  city,  and  again  give  occasional  employment  to  the  hebberman. 

Heel.  —  Generally,  the  opposite  to  the 
head,  as  the  after  end  of  a  ship's  keel  ;  the 
lower  end  of  any  spar  or  timber.  Thus  the 
lower  end  of  a  topmast  is  its  heel ;  and  the 
rope  by  which  the  mast  is  hauled  up  is  the 
heel  rope.  A  vessel  is  doivn  by  the  heel  when 
her  heel  or  stern  is  depressed  in  the  water 
(compare  with  "Down  by  the  head,'' under 

To  heel  is  to  careen  or  lay  her  over. 
"  They  made  the  vessel  heel, 
And  lay  upon  her  side  ;" 
the  heel,  in  sucli  a  case,  is  her  inclination 
laterally.       She  also  heels  over,  or  "bends,"  under  press  of  canvas. 

Heel-post,  in  some  steamships,  is  a  post  which  supports  the  end  of 
the  propeller  shaft. 

Height  (of  a  flag).— The  perpendicular  height,  the  length  being 
called  the  fly. 

Height  -staff  or  roe/ (in  shipbuilding),  a  measuring  staff  for  heights, 
as  the  half- breadth  staff  is  for  widths. 

Helm. — The  helm  is  the  steering  apparatus  of  the  ship,  i.e.,  the 
rudder,  with  its  operative  part  the  tiller  or  handle  (sometimes 
called  the  helmstock).  To  this  mechanism  large  vessels  haveaifAeeZ 
added,  while  in  small  open  boats  the  place  of  the  wheel  is  often  taken 
by  a  yoke  and  yoke  lines.  Steering  orders,  as  given  on  ship-board, 
refer  (with  very  few  exceptions)  to  the  direction  in  which  the  tiller 
is  to  be  thrust.  Therefore  the  order  to  Port  means,  put  the  tiller 
over  to  port,  the  result  of  which  "will,  of  course,  be  to  send  the 
vessel's  head  to  starboard.  (See  Port  and  STARBOARD.)  It  must 
never  lie  supposed  that  such  an  order  is  intended  to  mean,  put  the 
vessel  over  to  port  ;  for  it  has  no  direct  reference  to  the  vessel,  but 
only  to  the  tiller.  In  a  vessel  steered  by  a  wheel,  the  chains  or 
ropes  by  which  the  wheel  works  the  tiller  (for  the  tiller  is,  in 
theory,  and  often  in  fact,  always  there)  are  so  arranged  that  by 
turning  the  wheel  from  right  to  left  (that  is,  in  a  port  ward 
direction)  the  tiller  is  pulled  over  to  port.  Thus  though,  in  the 
mechanism  of  the  steering  apparatus,  two  distinct  portions  (the 
rudder  and  the  tiller)  are  essential,  to  which,  in  large  vessels,  a  third 
(the  wheel)  is  added,  we  come  to  regard  the  tiller  as  the  helm  ;  and 

118  A    DICTIONARY    OF  SEA    TEEMS. 

this  is  why  to  PORT  helm  is  to  put  the  tiller  a'port,  that  is  towards 
the  left  side  of  the  vessel,  while  to  Starboard  the  helm,  or  put  the 
helm  a'starboard,  is  to  put  the  tiller  over  to  the  right,  or  starboard 
side.  With  these  few  details  clearly  understood,  the  following 
terms,  which  have  reference  to  the  working  of  the  helm  in  sailing 
operations,  will  be  made  clear. 

Helm  up,  helm  dotvn. — If  a  beginner  receive  the  order  "  Helm  up  !" 
the  first  question  which  will  naturally  present  itself  to  his  mind 
is, — "  Up  to  what?"  a  very  reasonable  question  to  ask  ;  for  if  it  is 
to  go  up  it  certainly  must  go  up  to  something.     And  such  reasoning 
will  undoubtedly  solve  the  difficulty,  for  nothing   at  sea  is  done 
without  a  reason.     Now,  there  is  in  a  boat  propelled  by  the  wind 
but  one  thing  up  to  which  the  tiller  could  be  put,  viz.  :    the  wind, 
the  veiy  raison  d'etre  of  such  a  boat's  existence.   Helm  up,  then, 
must  of  necessity  mean  -up  to  the  wind;    and  so,  in  fact,   it  does, 
for  no  matter  what  position  a  boat  may  be  in,   no  matter  what 
turns   or   twists   from    that    position    she  may  make,    no    matter 
whether  it  be  light  or  dark,  foggy  or  clear,  whether  the  wind  be 
ever  so  steady  or  shift  from  north  to  south  and  all  round  the  compass 
again  ;  whatever  the  time  or  whatever  the  circumstances,  a  beginner 
need  never  be  at  a  loss  for  the  meaning  of  "  helm  up  "  :   he  has  but 
to  determine  the  direction  of  the  wind  (and  if  there  be  a  doubt  in 
his  mind  over  that,  the  sail,  which  naturally  stands  away  from  it, 
will  quickly  dispel  it)  and  up  against  it  goes  the  tiller  without  a 
further  thought.     Yet,  simple  as  it  seems,   it  is  astonishing   how 
many  mistakes  are  made  by  beginners  over  this  important  point ; 
and  it  must  be  confessed  that  to  determine  at  a  moment's  notice 
the  direction  of  the  wind,  when  quite  fresh  to  the  practice  of  sailing, 
is  not  altogether  an  easy  thing.     Moreover,  there  are  times  when 
it  appears  difficult  to  determine  at  all  which  Avay  "  helm  up  "  would 
mean  ;  as,  for  instance,  when  the  tiller  lies  directly  in  the  line  of 
the  wind,  as  it  might  if  the  boat  be  running  sheer  before  it,  or  when 
lying  head  to  wind.   Here  again  then  a  little  reasoning  is  useful.  If  a 
boat  be  sailing  with  a  side  wind  and  the  sail  stand  over  on  the  star- 
board side,  from  which  side  is  the  wind  blowing  ?  Naturally,  from  the 
port  side,  and  the  boat  is  therefore  on  the  port  tack.     For  the  same 
reason,  then,  if  the  boat  be  running  before  the  wind  with  her  sail  still 
standing  over  on  the  starboard  side,  the  wind  must  be  or  must  have 
been  blowing,  however  little,  from  the  port  side,  and  to  thrust  the 
tiller  over  to  port  is  to  put  it  up.     The  reader  must  take  particular 
notice,  however,  that,  in  this  instance,  no  such  command  as  "  helm 
up  "  would  be  given  ;    because,  under  the  circumstances,  to  put  the 
tiller  up  would  be  to  cause  the   boom  to  gybe  so  suddenly  and 
violently  as  (with  any  breeze)  to  carry  something  away.     But  the 
example  is  introduced  to  make  him  familiar  with  some  of  the  conse- 
quences of  "  helm  up  "  and  "  helm  down. "     In  such  a  case  the  order 
would  probably  be     Let  her  gybe, "  upon  which  the  tiller  might  be 
put  slightly  down,  the  sheet  quickly  gathered  in,   anil  the  boom 
allowed  to  go  over  as  quietly  as  could  be.     (See  Gybe.)     But  the 



order  to  "  down  helm  "  might  reasonably  be  followed,  for  it  would 
necessitate  that  the  tiller  be  put  over  to  starboard,  by  which  the 
head  of  the  boat  would  go  to  port,  the  sail  remaining  all  the  time 
on  the  same  side. 

If,  now,  the  boat  be  lying  head  to  wind,  how  shall  the  meaning 
of  "  helm  up  "  be  determined '!  It  must  depend  upon  the  course  to 
be  taken.  If  a  point  on  the  starboard  side  is  to  be  made,  to  get  in 
that  direction  the  tiller  must,  of  course,  be  put  over  to  port,  which 
consequently  will  be  putting  it  up  ;  for  in  a  few  moments  the  boat 
will  be  on  the  port-tack  and  standing  for  her  point. 

The  meaning  of  "  helm  up  "  having  been  mastered,  that  of  "  helm 
down,"  being  precisely  the  opposite  in  all  cases,  is  already  under- 
stood, and  we  come  to  another  phrase  made  occasional  use  of  with 
reference  to  the  tiller,  viz.,  over  or  hard  over.  This  command  is 
most  frequently  heard  in  cases  of  emergency  :  it  requires,  therefore, 
to  be  promptly  answered  :  and,  fortunately,  is  not  difficult  to  under- 
stand. To  put  the  helm  over  is  to  shift  it,  that  is,  to  bear  the 
tiller  over  to  the  corresponding  position  on  the  opposite  side  of 
the  vessel.  Hard  over  is  to  do  this  with  the  utmost  energy.  (See 
under  Hard.) 

The  following  are  the  various  expressions  having  direct  reference 
to  the  side  to  which  the  tiller  must  be  put  : — 

UP. — Keep  her  aioay,  pay  her  off,  no  higher,  no  nearer,  give 
her  tveather  helm,  are  terms  equivalent  to  bear  aioay,  bear  up; 
and  all  have  the  same  meaning  with  regard  to  the  tiller,  viz.  : 
helm  up. 

DOWN.— Helm  a'tec—Fut  the  helm  to  the  lee  side  of  the  vessel, 
that  is,  away  from  the  wind,  and,  therefore,  down. 

Luff. — Put  the  vessel's  head  up  towards  the  wind  ;  to  do  which 
the  tiller  must  be  pat  away  from  the  wind,  and  therefore  down. 

Nothing  off. — To  keep  a  boat  "  nothing  off  "  is  to  keep  her  head 
"  right  on,"  or  up  to,  the  wind.  If  she  falls  away  the  tiller  must 
be  put  down,  which  will  bring  her  head  once  more  up. 

RIGHT. — Helm  amidships,  or  right  the  helm. — Put  the  tiller  or 
let  it  fall  back  in  the  same  line  as  the  keel. 

Weather  helm  and  lee  helm. — These  are  terms  very  difficult  of 
explanation,  experience  being  required  to  form  a  clear  conception 
of  their  meaning.  A  vessel  is  said  to  carry  a  weather  helm  when 
— her  tendency  in  sailing  being  to  ran  up  into  the  wind  —  her  helm 
must  be  kept  constantly  over  to  the  weather  side,  or  up.  And  she 
carries  a  lee  helm  when — her  tendency  being  to  fall  away  from  the 
wind — her  helm  must  be  kept  to  leeward,  or  down.  Thus  it  would 
appear  that  weather  and  lee  helm  are  tendencies  to  run  either  up  to 
the  wind  or  away  from  it.  Though  some  vessels  have  one  tendency 
and  some  another,  there  may  also  be  causes  to  aggravate  these. 
For  instance,  if  a  vessel  have  too  much  weight  astern,  or  if  the  after 
sails  are  too  much  for  the  head  sails,  she  will  have  to  be  sailed  on  a 
weather  helm,  for  her  tendency  will  be  to  ran  up  into  the  wind  ; 
wlrile  if  she  be  down  by  the  head  (having  too  much  weight  in  her 

120  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEEMS. 

bows),  or  if  the  head  sails  more  than  counterbalance  the  after  ones, 
they  will  carry  her  head  away  from  the  wind,  and  she  will  con- 
stantly require  a  lee-helm  to  keep  her  up.  This  is  veiy  well  under- 
stood with  respect  to  large  vessels,  and  taken  into  due  account  in 
the  stowing  of  cargo.  For  a  sailing  ship  will  be  very  narrowly 
watched  throughout  her  first  voyage,  and  if  it  be  found  that  she 
carries  too  much  weather  helm,  the  great  weight  of  cargo  will,  for 
her  next  trip,  be  stowed  aft ;  whereas  if  she  requires  a  lee  helm  it 
will  find  its  way  forward.  Sea-faring  men  approve  of  weather 
helm ;  they  like  to  feel  that  their  vessel  is  ardent,  or,  in  other 
words,  that  they  have  something  to  steer  against.  Amateurs,  on 
the  other  hand,  are  often  averse  to  it.  Lee  helm  is  not  only  ob- 
jectionable, but  in  certain  cases  it  becomes  positively  dangerous  ; 
for  if,  in  a  sudden  squall,  a  boat  cannot  quickly  be  brought  up  head 
to  wind,  the  consequences  may  be  serious. 

Helmport. — A  port  is  a  hole ;  and  the  helm  port  is  the  hole 
through  which  the  head  and  stock  of  a  rudder  (or  helm)  passes  when 
the  vessel  has  a  counter. 

Helmsman. — The  man  at  the  helm,  that  is,  who  steers  the  vessel. 

Helmstock. — Another  word  for  the  tiller  {which  see). 

Hermaphrodite  briff. — The  old  name  for  the  vessel  we  now 
call  a  brigantine.  Being  brig-rigged  on  the  foremast  and  schooner- 
rigged  on  the  main  mast,  it  was  also  sometimes  called  a  brig 
schoooner.     (See  under  Beig.) 

Heron,  (hern,  hernshaiv). — A  well-known  water  bird.  The  com- 
monest of  the  family  Ardeidce.  On  the  East  Coast  the  name  hern- 
shaiv is  always  used.  But  it  is  pronounced  "  hand-sor."  Hence, 
without  room  for  doubt,  the  explication  of  the  much  quoted 
Shakesperean  line  ("Hamlet")  relating  to  the  difference  between 
"  a  hawk  and  a  handsaw." 

High,  (high  and  dry). — The  situation  of  a  vessel  when,  being 
aground,  she  is  left  there  by  the  receding  tide. 

The  high  seas. — The  open  sea  ;  that  is  beyond  the  three-mile  limit 
—that  being  the  distance  within  which  nations  claim  the  rights  of 

High  ivater.  —  The  top  of  the  tide  ;  the  point  of  its  highest  rise  ; 
the  point  of  its  lowest  fall  being  called  low  water. 

High  water  inark. — The  mark  left  by  the  tide  along  the  coast 
when  it  recedes.  It  usually  means  the  height  to  which  the  highest 
spring  tides  rise,  and  in  England  it  is  often  marked  in  certain 
places  by  the  Trinity  House  Corporation,  this  being  called  the 
Trinity  high  water  mark.     (See  also  Spring  Tides.) 

Hike. — A  slang  expression — to  move  quickly  ;  as,  "  hike  off,"  be 
off  quickly.  It  may  also  mean  to  hand  or  swing  something  over  ; 
as,  "  hike  it  over,"  i.e.,  "swing  or  hand  it  over." 

Hitch. — The  name  given  to  certain  twists  made  with  rope  to 
form  knots  which  may  be  very  easily  loosened.  The  principal 
liitches    are    the   half-hitch,  tioo-half -hitches,   clove-hitch,    magnus- 



hitch,  timber  -  hitch,  and  blachioall  -  hitch  (for  the 
method  of  making  all  of  which  see  under  the  heading 

To  take  a  hitch  is  simply  to  take  one  turn  in  a 
rope,  or,  when  applied  to  the  belaying  of  a  rope,  to 
make  a  bight  (bend)  in  the  last  turn,  keeping  the 
running  end  under  so  that  it  will  not  unwind  {see 
fig.).  This  is  the  neatest  manner  of  finishing  a 

Hitcher. — Another  word  for  a  barge-pole,  punt- 
ing-pole,  quanting-pole,  or  boat-hook,  called  variously 
according  to  locality.     (See  under  Pole.  ) 

Hobbler. — A  coastman  of  Kent;  an  unlicensed 
pilot ;  one  towing  a  vessel ;  a  watchman. 

Hog. — A  stout  broom,  or  brush,  for  scraping  a 
boat's  bottom. 

Hogging  (at  sea). — A  dangerous  thing  with  a  ship,  sometimes 
the  result  of  her  taking,  or  remaining  too  long  on,  the  ground.  It 
is  a  falling  of  her  head  and 




stern,  the  consequence  of 
some  accidental  weakness 
in  her  keel.  A  vessel 
which  has  hogged  is  either 
strengthened  by  a  hog 
frame,  a  sort  of  huge  truss, 
running  fore  and  aft,  or  by 
a  hog-chain,  a  chain  acting 
as  a  tension  rod,  passing 
from  stem  to  stern.  It  may 
be  generally  concluded, 
however,  that  a  hogget!  vessel  is  a  wreck. 

Hoist. — To  elevate,  to  haul  aloft,  with  or  Avithout  the  assist- 
ance of  tackles. 

Hoist. — The  perpendicular  measurement  of  a  sail  or  flag.  Thus 
the  height  of  a  flag  is  its  "hoist,"  the  length  being  its  fly ;  and 
in  bike  manner  the  length  of  a  sail,  measured  up  along  the  foremost 
leech,  is  its  hoist.  So  a  flag  may  have  a  two-foot  hoist,  a  fore- 
and-aft  mainsail  a  hoist  of  10  or  15  feet ;  a  fore-sail  or  a  jib  a  six  or 
eight  foot  hoist. 

Hold. — The  inner  space  of  a  vessel  in  which  the  cargo  is  stowed. 

Hold  beams. — In  shipbuilding,  beams  traversing  the  hold  of  a 
vessel  and  supporting  a  lower  deck,  or  hold-floor.    (See  Frame.) 

"Hold  hard!" — Stop;  desist:  something  equivalent  to  avast 
(which  see). 

Hold  a  luff. — In  sailing,  to  keep  close  to  the  wind  ;  to  luff  meaning 
to  go  close  up  to  the  wind. 

Hold  a  topmast.— A  gaff  topsail,  unless  kept  close  to  its  topmast 

122  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

l>y  a  lacing  or  jack  stay,  will  be  liable,  except  in  a  very  light  breeze, 
to  blow  from  the  mast,  or  in  the  language  of  fishermen  it  will  not 
"  hold  the  topmast."  This  is  the  case  with  big  yard-topsails, 
which  are  unsuited,  therefore,  for  working  to  windward  in  a  breeze. 
Hold  a  wind,  hold  a  good  wind. — A  vessel  is  said  to  hold  a  good 
wind  when  she  has  no  tendency  to  fall  off  from  the  wind  ;  and  one 
boat  is  said  to  "  hold  a  better  wind  "  than  another  when  she  sails 
closer  to  the  wind  than  the  other. 

''''Hold  water!"  In  rowing,  the  same  as  "back  water"  {which 
see,  under  Back).     The  expression  is  uncommon. 

Holding  on  the  slack. — Lazy.  Doing  little  or  nothing. 
Holly-stone- — A  soft  porous  stone  used  in  most  ships  for  the 
purpose  of  nibbing  or  scouring  the  decks  with  sand  every  morning 
soon  after  day  bight.  A  large  flat  piece  is  called  a  "  bible,"  possibly 
because  it  is  used  by  men  kneeling  ;  and  a  small  piece  for  getting 
into  corners  is  a  "prayer-book." 

Holsoni. — A  term  applied  to  a  ship  that  rides  without  rolling 
or  labouring.     (See  WHOLESOME.) 

Home. — The  term  is  applied  to  anything  close  up,  or  in  its  place. 
It  also  implies  the  situation  of  a  ship.  When  blocks  are  drawn 
together  they  are  said  to  be  "  brought  home."  A  square  sail,  when 
its  clews  are  brought  close  down  to  the  yard-arms  of  its  lower  yard, 
is  said  to  be  "  hauled  home."  A  bolt  may  be  "  driven  home."  A 
bale  or  cask  in  the  cargo  of  a  vessel,  when  stowed  close  up  against 
another  so  that  neither  will  shift,  is  described  as  "  stowed  home." 
Come  home  (of  an  anchor). — The  anchor  is  said  to  "  come  home  " 
when  it  drags — the  ship  being  "  home." 

Fall  home  or  tumble  home. — In  shipbuilding,  the  inward  inclination 
of  the  sides  of  a  bulging  ship  after  they  leave  the  water  bine.  (See 
diagrams  under  Fall  and  Frame.) 

Sheeted  home. — A  sail  hauled  in  as  close  as  necessary  is  said  to  be 
"  sheeted  home." 

Hood. — A  covering  to  a  scuttle,  companion,  or  the  steering  gear  of 
a  vessel.  (See  diagram  under  Deck.)  In  shipbuilding,  the  final 
plank  of  a  complete  strake  is  called  a  hood,  and  the  end  of  this  plank 
a  hooding  end.  Hence  in  shipbuilding  those  ends  of  the  planks  which 
abut  on  the  stem  and  stern  posts  are  the  hoods,  or  hooding  ends. 

Hook. — The  epithet  hookedis  frequently  applied  in  shipbuilding  to 
anything  bent  or  incurvated,  as  the  breast-hooks,  fore-hooks,  after- 
hooks,  etc.  A  hook  is,  in  fact,  a  strengthening  knee  supporting 
various  members  in  a  ship.  In  a  rope,  a  loop  spliced  into  the  rope. 
Hook-block. — A  block  having  a  hook  upon  it.  (See  Block.) 
Hook-rope. — A  rope  used  for  such  purposes  as  dragging  a  cable 
ashore  when  hauling  a  vessel  up  to  a  quay,  etc.  It  is  usually 
wliipped  at  one  end  anil  furnished  with  a  loop  or  hook  at  the  other 
(whence  its  name). 

Hook  and  butt. — The  scarfing  or  laying  of  the  two  ends  of  timbers 
over  each  other. 



Hooker. — An  old  name  for  a  Dutch  trading  vessel.  Also  applied 
to  an  Irish  fishing  smack,  and  to  a  small  Brixham  fishing-boat.  (See 

Hoop. — Usually  a  band  round  something.  The  rings  on  a  mast 
to  which  the  weather  leech  of  a  fore-and-aft  sail  are  bent — some- 
times called  hanks.     {See  Mast  Hoors.) 

Hope. — "  A  small  bay ;  it  was  an  early  term  for  a  valley  and  is 
still  used  in  Kent  for  a  brook,  and  gives  name  to  the  adjacent 
anchorages."  Hence  we  have  the  "Upper  and  Lower  Hope,"  the 
last  reaches  before  the  estuary  of  the  Kiver  Thames. 
Horn. — The  arm  of  a  cleat  or  kevel.  The  jaws  of  a  gaff  or  boom. 
Horns  of  the  rudder. — In  certain  ships,  irons  to  which  the  rudder 
chains  are  attached. 

Horns  of  the  tiller. — Also  in  ships,  the  bolts  by  which  the  chains 
are  fixed  to  the  rudder. 

Horn  fisted. — Horny  handed — i.e.,  having  rough  hands. 
Horn  timbers. — Bracket   or  knee-shaped    timbers   affixed   to  the 
stempost  of  a  boat  for  the  support  of  the  counter. 

Hornpipe. — The  dance  once  popular  among  the  sailors  of  the 
British  navy,  and  still,  to  a  small  extent,  performed  at  festive  times. 
Barrington  ("  Arcbseologia,"  Vol.  III.)  considered  the  name  of  this 
dance  to  be  derived  from  a  musical  instrument  of  wood,  with  homat  each 
end,  and  formerly  used  in  Wales,  called  pib-corn  (Angl.,  hornpipe). 
Horse-  —  1.  In  square  rigged  vessels,  a  rope  for  the  support 
of  a  man.  (A) — The  rope  running  beneath  a  yard  upon  which  the 
men  stand  while  furling  is  a  horse,  and  is  attached  to  the  yard 
by  short  ropes  called  stirrups.  (See  fig.  1.)  The  outer  portion  of  the 
horse  is  called  the  flemish-horse.  (B) — A 
rope  stretched  from  the  cap  of  a  bowsprit  or 
jib-boom  to  the  knight-heads  for  the  safety 
of  men  working  on  the  bowsprit.  (C) — A 
breast-rope  over  which  a  man  may  lean, 
while  heaving  the  lead. 

2.  In  fore-and-aft  rig,  an  iron  bar  or  rail, 
running  athwart  a  deck,  or  the  stem  of  a 
boat,  upon  which  a  sheet-tackle  travels. 
(See  fig.  2.)  Many  yachts,  and  even  open 
boats,  are  fitted  with  a  horse  for  the  main 
sheet  block  ;  and  in  fishing  craft  we  often 
find  one  forward  of  the  mast  upon  which 
the  foresail  travels,  obviating  the  neces- 
sity for  fore-sheets.  In  this  latter  case  the 
leech  of  the  foresail  carries  a  pendant 
(hanging  rope)  by  means  of  whicli  the  sail, 
when  it  has  travelled  over  the  horse,  is  held  fast  to  the  shrouds. 
A  foresail  thus  manipulated  is  called  a  "  working  foresail." 

Horse-shoe   clamp. — In    ship-building,    an    iron    strop    or    clamp 
gripping  the  forefoot  of  the  keel. 

Fig.  2. 



Horse-shoe  rack. — In  ships,  a  curved  rack  carrying 
small  blocks  used  in  connection  with  the  running  gear. 

Horsing  iron. — In  ship-building,  a  caulker's  chisel 
used  for  caulking  a  ship's  seams  with  oakum. 

To  horse  up. — To  "  harden  in  "  the  oakum  caulk- 
ing in  a  vessel's  seams.  i*i 

Irish  horse. — Salt  beef ;  and  presupposed  to  be  of   Hounds 
a  certain  good  age.     There  is  an  old  verse  in  con- 
nection with  the  term,  as  follows  : — 

"  Salt  horse,  salt  horse,  what  brought  you  here? 
You've  carried  turf  for  many  a  year. 
From  Dublin  quay  to  Ballyack 
You've  carried  turf  upon  your  back. " 

This  has  been  called  "the  sailor's  address  to  his 
salt  beef." 

Host  men.  —  "An  ancient  guild  or  fraternity 
at  Newcastle,  to  whom  we  are  indebted  for  the 
valuable  sea-coal  trade. "     (Smyth.) 

Hot  coppers. — A  parched  mouth  the  morning 
after  drinking  heavily,  especially  of  bad  spirit. 

Hounds.  —  1.  Those  projections  at  the  lower 
part  of  a  mast-head  which  carry  the  trestle-trees, 
shrouds,  stays,  etc.  {See  fig.)  They  are  often  con- 
founded with  the  cheeks.  The  difference  is  arbitraiy. 
On  large  masts  such  as  those  of  sailing  ships,  they 
are  usually  called  the  hounds ;  in  small  vessels  the 
cheeks.  Hence  either  term  may  be  equally  properly 
used.  The  hounds  are  also  sometimes  called  the 
bibbs.  In  old  works  they  are  described  as  the  holes 
in  the  cheeks  of  the  mast.  The  jaws  of  a  gaff  or  boom 
are  occasionally  called  its  hounds. 

Hounding.  —  That  por- 
tion of  a  mast  below  the 
hounds  ;  or,  in  other  words, 
between  the  deck  and  the 
hounds.     ((See  fig.) 

House  flag.— A  square 
flag  displaying  the  device 
and  colours  adopted  by  any 
mercantile  shipping  com- 
pany. It  is  used  as  a  signal 
in  port  or  to  pilots,  pier- 
masters,  etc.,  and  also  when 
meeting  other  vessels.  Fig.  1 
shows  its  position  when  flying,  and  fig.  2  indicates  the  colours 
adopted  by  the  P.  and  O.  and  Orient  lines. 

Housing. — 1.  The  housing  of  a  mast  is  that  portion  below  the 
deck ;    it   is   usually  square    so    as    to   fit    inside    the   mast-case. 


^pl^^^rC**-—       "S^^"--,'" 

Fig.  1.— Position  of  Flag  when  Flying. 



oRifNT  nut 

(See  diagram  under  HOUNDS.)  2.  The  housing 
of  a  bowsprit  is  that  part  of  it  which  lies 
inboard  (within  the  knight-heads). 

A  housing  (house-line)  is  also  a  small  rope  used 
for  seizings  (i.e.,  binding-up). 

To  put  a  vessel  under  cover,  for  laying  up, 
is  sometimes  called  housing  her. 

To  house  a  mast  or  spar  is  to  take  it  down, 
or  strike  it.  Thus  a  topmast  lowered  and 
secured  to  the  lower  mast,  as  so  often  seen  in 
small  craft  during  winter — is  said  to  be  housed. 
The  housing  of  spars  in  a  gale  is  a  very  im- 
portant piece  of  seamanship,  for  every  sailor 
knows  how  much  wind  they  may  hold.  Indeed  Fig.  2.  —  House-flags 
so    much    is    this   the   case    that    the    act   of  (page  124). 

scudding  under  bare  poles — i.e.,  running  before  the  wind  without 
a  single  sail  set,  is  by  no  means  an  uncommon  practice,  and  may 
even  be  done  when  a  gale  is  no  more  than  moderate.  Jn  such 
vessels  as  yachts  the  housing  of  spars  is  sometimes,  though,  of 
course,  on  a  lesser  scale,  equally  necessary ;  and  even  in  open  boats 
it  may  occasionally  be  well  to  take  down  the  mast  and  any  other 
spars  which  may  project  outboard,  in  order  that  the  boat  may  be 
buried  as  little  as  possible  in  a  heavy  rolling  sea. 

Hove. — "Heave"  in  the  past  tense.  Thus  we  may  say  "we 
hove  to  during  the  squall. "  But  the  word  is  as  frequently  used  in 
the  present  tense,  as  "  she  is  hove  to ;  "  "  she  is  hove  in  stays,"  etc. 

Hovellers.  —  1.  At  the  Cinque  Ports,  a  name  for  pilots.  2. 
As  an  old  term  it  means  those  who  range  the  seas  around  the  coast 
in  the  chance  of  falling  in  with  ships  in  distress. 

Howker,  or  hooker. — "A  Dutch  vessel  commonly  navigated 
with  two  masts — viz. ,  a  main  and  a  mizzen  mast,  and  being  from 
sixty  to  two  hundred  tons  burden.  It  is  also  the  name  of  a  fishing 
boat  used  on  the  southern  coast  of  Ireland  and  carrying  only  one 
mast."  (Falconer.)  On  our  coasts  the  howkers  go  by  the  more 
familiar  name  of  "  Dutchmen." 

Hoy. — A  hoy,  before  the  era  of  steam  vessels,  was  a  boat  acting 
somewhat  in  the  same  manner  as  do  tenders  to-day ;  they  carried 
goods  and  passengers  to  and  from  the  larger  vessels ;  but  they  also 
coasted.  At  the  present  time  the  term  is  still  in  use  for  a  species  of 
lighter  ;  and  those  who  own  these  lighters  or  unload  vessels  call 
themselves  (though  improperly)  hoymen. 

Hug. — To  keep  close  to  in  sailing,  as  to  hug  the  shore,  to  hug 
the  wind,  etc. 

Hull,  or  hulk. — The  hull  is  the  body  of  a  vessel,  exclusive 
of  her  masts,  etc.  The  word  hulk  is  more  generally  applied 
to  old  vessels,  or  at  least  to  those  that  are  not  sent  to  sea.  The 
better  ones  were,  and  still  are,  made  use  of  in  various  Mays  : 
they  become  hospitals,  storage  or  guardships  under  Government, 

126  A   DICTIONAllY    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

or  watch-boats,  store  houses,  etc.,  with  private  individuals.  At 
Leigh,  on  the  Thames,  the  hull  of  an  old  vessel  has  been  turned  into 
a  yacht  club  house  ;  while  in  a  village  on  the  Suffolk  coast  half  the 
cottages  are  formed  of  the  inverted  hulks  of  old  fishing  craft, 
precisely  like  that  one  in  which  David  Copperfield  made  his  first 
accpiaintance  with  the  domestic  arrangements  of  the  Peggotty  family. 
Certain  hulls  are  fitted  with  sheers  (cranes)  for  dockyard  or  other 
engineering  work,  and  are  called  sheer  hulks.  But  this  latter  term 
is  often  understood  to  mean  nothing  more  than  the  mere  remnant  of 
a  ship,  as  in  Dibdin's  song  : — 

"  Here  a  sheer  hulk  lies  poor  Tom  Bowling, 
The  darling  of  our  crew. " 

It  is  important  to  those  uninitiated  in  shipping  matters  to  know 
that  in  ordering  sailing  craft  to  be  built,  prices  are  quoted  for  the 
hull  only,  unless  otherwise  stipulated.  It  is  general  now,  however, 
to  put  masts  and  spars  into  yachts. 

Hulling  or  trying. — Lying  in  wait,  in  a  heavy  sea,  without  sail. 
(See  also  Trying.)  "The  situation  of  a  ship  when  she  is  trying 
a'hull  or  with  all  her  sails  furled,  as  in  trying."     (Falconer.) 

Huniber  keel. — A  clincher  built  trading  vessel,  usually  bluff 
bow  and  stern,  sailing  out  of  the  River  Huniber. 

Hung  up. — Sometimes  to  be  "  hung  up  "  means  to  be  left  ashore 
or  without  occupation. 

Hung  vp  in  the  wind. — When  a  vessel  has  been  brought  head  to 
wind,  in  sailing,  but  refuses  to  go  about,  she  is  said  to  become  "  hung 
up  in  the  wind,"  or  to  be  "  in  irons."     {See  In  Irons  and  Tack.) 

Hurricane. — A  violent  storm,  distinguished  by  the  vehemence 
and  sudden  changes  of  the  wind. 

Hurriixme  deck. — In  large  steam  boats,  a  light  upper  deck  extend- 
ing across  the  vessel  amidships,  usually  for  the  officer  in  command. 
(See  Deck.) 

Hurry. — Another  word  for  staith  (which  see). 

Hurtle.— To  send  bodily  along  on  a  heavy  sea  or  swell. 

Husbaud. — Ship's  husband. — A  sort  of  marling  spike  or  pin 
for  various  purposes.  Of  the  man  called  ship's  husband  in  old  days 
Falconer  gives  the  following  :  "  Ship's  husband  (among  merchants), 
the  person  who  takes  the  direction  and  management  of  a  ship's  con- 
cerns upon  himself,  the  owners  paying  him  a  commission  for  his 
trouble. " 


Idlers. — On  shipboard,  those  who,  being  liable  to  constant  duty 
by  day,  are  not  subjected  to  keep  the  night  watches  ;  such  are  the 
carpenter,  sail  maker,  etc.  But  they  have  to  come  up  with  the  rest 
of  the  crew  when  "  all  hands  "  are  called. 

In. — Inboard. — Within  the  ship,  in  contradistinction  to  outboard, 
which  is  without  her ;  the  board  being  the  side  of  a  vessel.  Thus 
a  bowsprit  which  projects  outboard  may  be  reeved  (drawn)  inboard. 

A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  127 

So  also,  that  portion  of  an  oar  or  skull  which  is  within  the  boat 
when  used  in  the  act  of  rowing  lies  inboard. 

In-haul. — A  rope  or  purchase  for  rigging -in,  that  is  for  drawing 
in  a  spar  or  sail,  just  as  an  outhaul  is  for  rigging  it  out.  Thus,  in  a 
cutter  yacht,  the  jib,  which  is  set  flying  (that  is,  not  on  a  stay), 
is  hauled  out  along  the  bowsprit  by  an  outhaul,  and  brought  in  by 
an  inhaul.     (See  diagram  under  Jib.) 

Inner  post.  — In  shipbuilding,  a  timber  upon  which  one  of  the 
transoms  is  usually  fixed. 

Inner  turns. — (See  Outer  Turns.) 

Inshcyre. — By  the  shore,  towards  the  shore,  as  "  Let  us  get  in- 
shore," that  is  "  Let  us  get  nearer  to  the  shore." 

Inrigged. — Rigged  or  fitted  within  or  on  the  side  of  a  boat.  The  row- 
locks of  row-boats  are  either  inrigged  or  outriggcd,  the  former  when  on 
the  gunwale,  as  in  the  ordinary  way,  the  latter  when  extended  on 
light  iron  brackets  as  for  racing  purposes.     (See  diagram  under  Rio. ) 

In  the  eve  of  the  iritid. — In  sailing,  a  vessel  making  progress  at  an 
acute  angle  with,  or,  in  other  words,  very  close  to,  the  wind  is  said 
to  be  "  in  the  eye  of  the  wind." 

Intermittent  light. — A  fixed  light  suddenly  eclipsed  and  as 
suddenly  revealed.     (See  Lights.) 

International. — International  law. — An  important  branch  of 
the  law  of  nations. 

International  code  (of  signals). — The  code  of  signalling  adopted 
by  England,  America,  France,  Germany,  Russia,  Austria,  Spain, 
Portugal,  Sweden,  Holland,  Denmark,  Italy,  Greece,  and  Brazil, 
for  commercial  purposes,  in  both  the  naval  ami  mercantile  marines. 
The  "International  Code  of  Signals  (Universal  Series),"  issued  by 
the  Admiralty  and  Board  of  Trade,  and  published  annually,  price 
12s.,  contains  a  list  of  the  International  Code  with  instructions 
to  masters  as  to  signalling,  besides  other  useful  matter.  (For  a 
description  of  the  flags  and  other  symbols  with  which  the  code  is 
used,  see  under  the  heading  Signals.) 

Inwale.— {See  Wale.) 

Irish  pennants.  —  Rope  yams  or  any  fagged  old  rope  ends 
hanging  about  the  rigging  of  a  vessel.  The  term  is  used  as  one  of 
opprobrium.  .- 

Iron. — Anything  made  of  iron  may  be  called  "  an  iron,"  as  boom 
iron,  end  irons,  etc. 

In  irons.  1.  A  punishment  on  shipboard  ;  the  old  term  for  hand- 
cuffed or  chained  up.  2.  (In  sailing). — If  a  vessel  miss-stays  in 
tacking  ami  cannot  be  cast  one  way  or  the  other,  she  is  said  to  be 
"  in  irons,"  or  "  hung  up  in  the  wind."     (See  TACK.) 

Iron-byund  shore. — A  dangerous  and  rocky  part  of  the  coast. 

Ironclad. — The  name  often  given  to  a  vessel  of  war,  because  she 
is  clad  in  iron  or  steel. 

Iron-sick. — A  term  signifying  the  state  of  an  old  vessel  when  her 
iron  work  becomes  loose  in  her  timbers  ;   and  it  may  also  be  applied 



to  the  condition  of  a  "composite  vessel  when  her  iron  fastenings 
become  rotten  through  the  galvanic  action  which  arises  between 
them  and  the  copper  sheathing."     (See  COMPOSITE.) 

Preservation  of  iron. — Iron  is  found  to  be  so  liable  to  rust  on 
exposure  to  the  salt  air  of  the  sea 
that  various  plans  have  to  be  em- 
ployed in  preserving  it.  The  most 
effective  of  these  methods  is  galvan- 
ising. Immersion  while  hot  in  boiling 
oil  also  preserves  the  surface,  while 
the  simplest  method  is  to  paint  it. 
In  yachts,  in  the  fitting  out  of  which 
expense  is  not  considered,  brass  or 
gun-metal  takes  the  place  of  iron 
wherever  possible. 

Jack. — The  term  "jack"  is  ap- 
plied somewhat  indiscriminately  by 
sea-faring  men  to  various  spars, 
sails,  ropes,  etc.  It  would  appear, 
speaking  generally,  to  mean  some- 
thing small. 

Jack  (in  flags).  — "  Something 
shown,  a  signal."  (Brande  and  Cox.) 
In  this  sense  the  word  jack  has  here 
been  kept  distinct  from  Union  Jack, 
because  the  jack  being  a  flag  used 
as  a  signal,  any  nation  may  have 
one ;  and,  indeed,  every  nation  has 
(me,  and  uses  it  whenever  occasion 
renders  it  necessaiy.  The  mercantile 
jack  of  England  is  the  union  (which 
see),  enclosed  in  a  border  of  white, 
one-fifth  the  width  of  the  flag,  and 
this  method  of  enclosing  the  national 
colours  is  very  usual  with  foreign 
countries,  though  by  no  means  uni- 
versal. When  signalling  for  a  pilot 
the  jack  is  hoisted  at  the  fore  (i.e., 
at  the  head  of  the  fore -mast),  or  in 
single-masted  craft  at  the  head  of 
the  mast,  and  kept  flying  ;  and  it  is  by  the  colours  of  the  jack 
that  the  nationality  of  the  vessel  is  known  :  or  instead  of  the  jack 
the  flags  P.T.,  of  the  international  code  of  signals,  may  be  hoisted. 
But,  speaking  roughly,  as  flags  cannot  always  be  deciphered  at 
a  great  distance,  almost  any  colours  hoisted  at  the  fore  will  be 
understood  to  mean  that  a  pilot  is  required.  The  pilot's  answer 
to  the  signal  is  a  red  and  white  flag  (divided  longways). 

Jack-block. — A  block  sometimes  used  in  sending  up  a  top  mast. 

A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  129 

Jack  cross-trees. — 1.  In  a  ship,  single  iron  cross-trees  at  the  head 
of  long  top-gallant  masts,  for  the  support  of  royal  or  sky  sail  masts. 
2.  In  fore-and-aft  rigged  craft,  iron  cross-trees  which  fold  up,  so  as 
to  admit  of  a  mast  being  lowered.  They  are  often  seen  in  topsail 
barges,  the  masts  of  which  have  to  be  lowered  in  passing  under 
bridges.     (See  fig. ) 

Jack  in  the  basket. — A  name  given  by  fishermen  to  a  basket  placed 
on  a  beacon  for  marking  a  shoal  or  channel. 

Jack-ladder. — A  ladder  furnished  with  side  ropes  for  holding  on  by. 

Jack-pin. — A  belaying  pin  in  a  fiferail,  when  it  is  also  called  a 
sack  pin. 

Jack  quarter  deck. — The  same  as  the  top  gallant  forecastle.  (See 
diagram  under  Deck.) 

Jack-staff. — A  flag  pole  for  flying  the  Union  Jack. 

Jack  stay. — 1.  A  stay  acting  also  as  a  traveller.  2.  A  thin  rope 
used  to  hold  the  luffoi  a  gaff  top-sail  to  its  mast :  it  is  rove  through 
a  cringle  about  midway  down  the  luff  of  the  sail,  and  passing 
through  a  sheave  or  grommet  on  the  mast,  is  then  brought  down 
on  deck  and  belayed.  The  jack  stay  may,  therefore,  take  the  place 
of  the  lacing  of  a  jib-headed  topsail  to  its  mast.     (See  fig.) 

Jack  topsail  (sometimes  called  a  jacket  or  donkey  topsail). — 
A  fore-and-aft  topsail  bent  (i.e.,  attached)  to  a  jack  yard,  which 
carries  the  sail  up  above  the  head  of  the  mast.  This  sail  is  a  little 
awkward  to  manipulate,  but  it  has  a  certain  advantage  in  light 
winds,  in  that  it  reaches  higher  than  do  most  other  topsails  ;  and  as 
it  may  be  set  on  a  pole  mast,  it  is  frequently  applied  to  small  boats, 
and  hoisted  above  a  balance  lug  sail.    (See  fig.,  also  under  Topsails.) 

Jack  yard. — Generally  speaking,  a  yard  or  pole  which  extends 
either  the  head  or  the  foot  of  a  topsail  beyond  some  other  spar. 
Applied  to  the  head  of  a  jack  topsail,  it  stands,  when  set,  in  a 
vertical  position,  cariying  the  head  of  the  sail  up  beyond  the  head 
of  the  mast,  and  is  kept  in  this  situation  by  hauling  down  the  foot 
of  the  yard,  which,  in  this  case,  secures  the  tack  of  the  sail. 
Applied  to  the  foot  of  a  topsail  the  jack  yard  carries  it  out  beyond 
the  peak.  (See  fig.)  In  ships  we  find  a  cross-jack  yard  (pro- 
nounced "crojeck  "  or  "  crutched  "  yard),  which  is  the  lowest  yard 
on  the  mizzen  mast.    It  is  always  hung  ;  not  hoisted  with  halyards. 

Jack-ass  rig. — The  name  sometimes  given  to  the  ordinary 
form  of  three-masted  schooner 
which  sets  square  topsails  on 
the  foremast.  It  is  possible 
that  this  name  has  been 
given  to  distinguish  the  rig 
from  that  which  may,  in 
this  instance,  be  called  the 
true  three-masted  schooner  ; 
the  latter  sets  no  square  sail-,  V^5^2SSM^ - 
but  is  a  much  less  common 
rig.     (See  SCHOONER.) 

&  Jack-ass  Rig. 

130  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

Jacket. — 1.  A  double  or  outer  coat,  in  the  planking  of  a  vessel. 
2.  The  jack  topsail  of  a  fore-and-aft  rigged  boat  is  sometimes  called 
the  jacket. 

Jackettiiig. —  A  scolding.  Sometimes  an  infliction  of  the  rope 

Life  jacket. — (See  under  Life.) 

Jacob's  ladder. — A  rope  ladder  having  wooden  rounds. 

Jaws. — The  horns  at  the  end  of  a  boom  or  gaff .     (See  Gaff.) 

Jaw-rope. — A  rope  passed  through  and  across  the  jaws  of  a  gaff, 
to  hold  the  spar  to  the  mast.  It  is  generally  threaded  through 
wooden  beads  or  trucks  to  prevent  jamming,  and  thus  becomes  a 
parrel  (which  see). 

Jears. — Tackles  by  which  the  lower  yards  of  a  ship  are  swayed 
or  struck  (i.e.,  hoisted  or  lowered). 

Jetsam  (in  law).  — Goods  cast  from  a  ship  and  sunk,  in  contra- 
distinction to  flotsam  and  lagan  (both  of  which  see). 

Jettison  (in  law)  (evidently  from  the  French  jettez-en). — To 
jettison  is  to  cast  goods  overboard,  whether  to  lighten  or  get  a 
vessel  upon  an  even  keel  when  aground,  and  thus  aid  in  floating 
her  again,  or — on  the  high  seas 
— that  she  may  ride  more  easily 
when  in  distress. 

Jetty. — A  small  pier  or  landing 
place.     (See  fig.) 

Jewel  block. — In  square  rig, 
a  block  at  a  yard  arm  for  the 
halyard  of  a  studding  sail.     (See  Jetty. 

diagram  under  Block.) 

Jib. — One  of  the  head  sails  in  a  sailing  vessel — triangular  in 
shape.  In  large  vessels  it  is  bent  to  a  stay,  called  the  jib-stay, 
which  extends  from  the  fore-top-mast  head  to  the  end  of  t\iejib- 
boom  ;  but  in  small  craft  generally  it  is  set,  either  standing  or  flying 
(according  to  the  rig  of  the  boat),  between  the  lower  mast  head  and 
the  end  of  the  bowsprit.  In  the  cutter  and  yawl,  both  of  which 
have  reeving  bowsprits,  the  jib  is  set  flying  ;  in  the  sloop,  which  has 
a  fixed  bowsprit,  it  is  set  standing,  on  the  jib-stay,  and  usually  ex- 
tends aft  almost  to  the  mast,  thereby  doing  away  with  the  fore-sail. 
In  either  case  it  is  the  most  forward  of  all  the  sails.  The  jib,  not- 
withstanding the  fact  that  it  is  small  and  stands  out-board,  is  a  very 
important  agent  in  sailing.  It  steadies  the  boat  in  her  course,  helps 
her  round  when  she  is  put  about,  prevents  her  running  suddenly  up 
into  the  wind,  and  acts  as  a  good  guide  to  the  helmsman,  when 
sailing  in  the  eye  of  the  wind,  for  by  its  tendency  to  chaffer  (or 
shiver)  it  tells  him  when  he  is  sailing  too  close.  Its  virtue  hies 
in  its  position  as  the  foremost  of  all  the  sails,  and  on  this  account 
we  have  the  following  rule  for  working  jib  and  foresail:  When  a 
vessel  is  going  about,  the  jib  acts  before  the  foresail,  but  its  power 
is  soon  expended.     It  is,  therefore,  brought  over  first  (as  soon  as  its 



effort  is  seen  to  be  finished)  and  sheeted  home,  while  the  foresail, 
by  laying  aback,  completes  the  work  of  bringing  the  vessel's  head 
round.  This  is  an  operation  which  requires  nice  judgment  and  some 
little  experience.  The  mistake  of  bringing  the  head  sails  over  too 
soon  is  particularly  to  be  avoided :  it  may  almost  be  said,  indeed, 
that  it  is  better  to  be  too  slow  than  too  quick,  though  much,  of 
course,  must  depend  upon  the  general  behaviour  of  the  craft. 

Jibs,  in  seagoing  craft,  are  of  vaiious  sizes,  to  suit  all  weathers. 
A  large  jib  will   tend   in   a 


•■i.MiidU  Jil> 
3. Flying  Jit 
4-Jifc  -boom 
j.FLyinj  Jtt-lroom 

breeze  to  buiy  a  boat's  head  ; 
and  some  boats  are  incapable 
of  standing  a  large  one  at 
any  time.  In  the  latter  case 
the  sail  is  sometimes  cut 
obliquely  at  the  foot,  so  as 
to  run  upwards  from  the 
bowsprit,  and  this  has  been 
found  to  lift  the  boat  better. 
Occasionally  the  head  is  cut 
square  and  fitted  with  a  small 
batten  called  a  head-stick ; 
this  acts  well  where  the  bolt 
rope  of  the  sail  tends  to  kink. 

Besides  the  jib  in  common 
use,  we  have  the  following  : 

Balloon  jib. — A  racing  sail 
of  enormous  size,  extending 
from  the  topmast  head  to  the 
bowsprit  head.  Sometimes 
the  spinnaker  is  carried  for- 
ward as  a  balloon  jib  in  racing. 
(See  Balloon  Canvas.) 

Flying  ib. — A  jib  set  out 
on  a  jib-boom  ahead  of  the 
jib.  It  is  used  on  schooner 
yachts  and  trading  vessels. 
(See  fig.) 

Inner  jib. — In  ships,  the  jib  next  the  fore-stay  sail. 

Jib  of  jibs  (only  in  large  ships). — "A  sixth  jib,"  only  known  to 
flying-kite  men. 

Jib  topsail. — A  jib  running  on  the  topmast  stay  in  a  cutter  or 
yawl,  and  set  above  the  other  head  sails.  In  these  boats  it  has 
sometimes  been  called  the  flying  jib,  though  this  is  hardly  a 
correct  name,  as  that  sail  belongs  to  schooners  and  other  large 

Middle  jib. — A  jib  belonging  to  schooners  and  large  trading 
vessels.  It  is  set  flying  from  the  foretop  mast  or  the  fore  top- 
gallant mast  to  the  end  of  the  jib-boom.     (See  fig.) 

Spitfire. — A  name  given  to  a  very  small  jib  used  in  boats ;  reallv  a 

K   2 

132  A    DICTION AKY    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

sort  of  trysail,  answering  the  same  purpose  as  the  storm  jib — i.  e.,  for 
use  only  in  dirty  weather,  or  to  keep  steerage  way  on  a  boat.   (See  fig. ) 

Standing  jib. — A  jib  set  standing  {which  see). 

Storm  jib. — One  for  bad  weather  or  winter  use  ;  it  is  made  of 
stout  canvas,  and  often,  even  for  yachts,   tanned.     {See  fig.) 

Jib-headed  sail. — A  sail  the  shape  of  a  jib — i.e.,  one  pointed  at  the 
head.     Such  is  the  jib-headed  topsail.     (See  TOPSAIL.) 

The  following  spars  and  ropes  refer  also  to  jibs  : 

Jib-boom. — A  spar  running  out  beyond  the  bowsprit  to  carry  a 
flying  jib.     {See  fig.) 

Flying  jib-boom.— A  boom  run  out  beyond  the  jib-boom  for  the 
flying  jibs.     (See  fig. ) 

Jib  down-haul,  or  in- haul ;  Jib  out-haul. — The  ropes  by  which  the 
jib  is  hauled  out  or  in  along  the  bowsprit.  Both  are  attached  to  the 
traveller  :  the  out-haul  runs  through  a  sheave  at  the  bowsprit 
head  and  then  inboard  ;  the  down-haul,  or  in-haul,  comes  from  the 
traveller  directly  inboard.     (See  fig.) 

Jib  guys. — (Only  in  large  vessels.)  Stays  supporting  a  foremast 
against  the  pressure  of  jibs. 

Jib  halyard. — The  halyard  which  elevates  the  jib.  In  large 
vessels  it  is  often  of  chain,  and  is  provided  with  a  rope  purchase  on 
one  side,  the  chain  belaying  on  the  other.  In  fore-and-aft  rigged 
craft,  such  as  yachts,  smacks,  etc.,  this  rope  takes  its  origin  near 
the  mast  head  :  it  runs  downwards  and  through  a  movable  block, 
after  which  it  goes  upward  again  through  a  fixed  block  on  the  mast, 
and  thence  down  to  the  deck,  where,  in  small  craft,  it  belays,  usually 
on  the  port  side  of  the  mast.  When  the  jib  is  to  be  set,  its  tack  is 
shackled  to  a  traveller  (an  iron  ring)  which  runs  it  out  on  the  bow- 
sprit ;  and  its  head  to  the  lower  block  of  the  halyard,  after  which  it 
is  hauled  up  taut.  In  a  sloop,  the  bowsprit  being  a  fixture,  and  the 
forestay  made  fast  to  its  end,  the  jib  runs  up  the  forestay  on 
hanks  ;  but  in  a  cutter  or  a  yawl,  the  forestay  being  carried  only  to 
the  stem-head,  the  jib  is  set  flying,  and  the  jib  halyards  then  act  as 
a  great  stay  to  the  bowsprit — more  so,  indeed,  than  does  the  top- 
mast forestay.  They  must,  therefore,  be  swigged  up  very  taut  when 
sail  is  made,  as  this  helps  to  strengthen  the  bowsprit. 

Jib-iron. — Commonly  called  the  traveller.  An  iron  ring  running 
on  the  bowsprit,  for  setting  the  jib. 

Jib  sheets. — The  ropes  which  work  the  jib.  They  are  usually 
composed  of  one  rope  doubled  half-way,  and  fastened  at  the 
bight  (or  bend)  to  the  clew  of  the  sail ;  and  eacli  part  is  brought 
down  on  either  side  of  the  forestay,  and  through  fairleads,  to  be 
belayed,  either  amidships,  or  (in  boats)  within  reach  of  the  helms- 
man. In  small  craft  the  jib  sheets  are  usually  distinguished  from 
the  fore-sheets  by  being  thicker,  and  by  being  belayed  aft  of  the 
fore-sheets.  A  stopper  knot  should  be  made  at  the  end  of  each  jib 
sheet  when  it  is  rove  through  its  fairleads,  to  prevent  their  being 
jerked  away.  A  figure-of-eight  knot  answers  this  purpose  well, 
and  is  easily  made.     (See  Knots.) 

A   DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  133 

Jib-stay. — A  stay  upon  which  a  jib  is  set.  In  fore-and-aft  rig  it 
is  peculiar  to  the  sloop,  being  run  out  to  the  head  of  the  fixed  bow- 
sprit, and  taking  the  place  of  the  forestay  of  a  cutter  in  supporting 
the  mast.  This  arrangement  constitutes  the  difference  between 
cutter  and  sloop  rig  (both  of  which  see).  In  the  cutter,  however, 
we  also  find  that  which  is  sometimes  called  the  jib-stay,  though, 
so  far  as  the  staying  of  any  spars  is  concerned,  it  is  no  stay  at  all, 
and  is  more  correctly  called  the  jib  out-haul,  its  office  being  to 
haul  out  the  jib  along  the  bowsprit ;  and  to  effect  this  it  is  usually 
connected  with  a  traveller,  or  ring  on  the  bowsprit.  Being  attached 
to  this  traveller,  it  is  passed  through  a  sheave  at  the  bowsprit  end 
and  then  brought  in  and  belayed  either  by  the  bowsprit  bitts  or 
by  the  mast.  When  the  jib  is  to  be  set  it  is  shackled  on  to  the 
traveller,  and,  being  hauled  about  half-way  up  the  mast,  is  then 
run  out  by  the  jib-stay,  which  is  then  belayed,  while  the  jib-halyard 
is  set  up  and  swigged  upon. 

Jigger. — Usually  a  small  spar,  or  an  extra  mast.  A  bumpkin 
is  often  spoken  of  as  a  jigger  ox  jigger-boom.  (See  diagram  under 
BOOM.)  The  small  mast  in  certain  barges,  fitted  to,  and  the 
sail  of  which  works  with,  the  rudder,  is  sometimes  called  the 
jigger.  So  also  any  very  small  mast  and  sail  (though  usually  one 
working  with  the  rudder)  may  be  called  by  the  same  name :  for 
which  latter  reason  we  occasionally  hear  a  fishing  boat,  carrying 
such  a  mast  and  sail,  but  otherwise  sloop-rigged,  called  a  jigger,  or 
jigger-rigged.  The  fourth  mast  in  a  four-masted  ship  is  the  jigger- 
mast.     (See  under  Mast.) 

Jigger  block. — A  tail  block  (See  Block)  or  a  block  to  clap  on  to  a 

Jigger  tackle. — A  small  tackle  on  a  halyard  or  some  other  rope, 
to  increase  the  purchase.  Also,  a  tackle  holding  a  cable  taut  as  it 
leaves  a  capstan.  It  consists  usually  of  no  more  than  a  single  and 
a  double  block. 

Joggled  timbers,  joggle  frame.  —  When  the  heads,  or 
timbers  (ribs),  of  a  boat  are  shaped,  in  the  manner  shown  in  the 
figure  under  Build,  so  as  to  receive  the  strakes  of  a  clincher  built 
boat,  they  are  said  to  he  joggled,  and  to  form  a,  joggle  frame. 

John  Dory  (Jaune  Dor6,  Fr.). — A  well-known  fish.  John 
Dore  was  a  notorious  French  pirate. 

Johnnie. — The  old  naval  term  for  a  "  bluejacket."  The 
seamen  were  called  the  johnnies  and  the  marines  jollies  ;  and  both 
these  names,  but  more  especially  the  former,  have  come  into 
general  use  in  familiar  conversation. 

Join. — To  join  a  ship  is  to  go  to  and  enter  upon  one's  duty  in 

Jolly. — The  name  given  to  a  marine,  just  as  a  bluejacket  is 
called  a  Johnnie.  The  marines  were  called  the  "jolly  marines," 
and  hence,  the  "  jollies." 



Jolly  boat. — 1.  In  the  Royal  and  Mercantile  Navies,  a  small  boat 
used  for  marketing,  landing  inferior  persons,  etc.  Some  have  in 
recent  years  been  fitted  with  engines.  2.  In  yachting,  a  boat, 
corresponding  to  the  dinghy. 

Jolly  jumper. — In  old  full  rigged  ships,  sails  set  above  the  moon- 
rakers,  thus  making  seven  square  sails  on  a  mast — viz.,  (1)  main; 
(2)  maintop ;  (3)  top-gallant ;  (4)  royal  ;  (5)  sky  sail ;  (6)  moon- 
raker  ;  (7)  jumper.  But  they  were  always  very  rare,  and  only  set 
by  the  most  inveterate  of  flying  kite  men.     (See  also  Light  Sails.) 

Jump, — To  make  a  jump  joint  with  two  planks  or  plates  of  iron 
is  to  put  them  together  (end  to  end  or  side  to  side)  in  such  a  manner 
that  they  will  present  a  smooth  surface.  Hence  in  shipbuilding  it 
is  equivalent  to  carvel  building  (see  Build)  ;  and  when  an  iron 
vessel  is  so  built  she  is  said  to  be  jump  jointed  or  jump  printed. 

Jumper. — A  square  sail  set,  on  very  rare  occasions,  on  certain  of 
the  old  full-rigged  ships  :  it  formed  a  seventh  square  sail  on  each 
mast  (see  Light  Sails.) 

Jumper  stay. — A  familiar  name  for  the  stay  called  triatic  (which 
see),  and  often  seen  in  schooners.  It  runs  from  the  mast  head  of 
the  main  to  the  fore,  and,  therefore,  takes  the  place  of  the  main  stay. 

Junk. — 1.  A  ship  common  in  China  and  Japan.  2.  On  ship- 
board junks  are  old  ropes  which  by  long  usage  and  saturation  in 
salt  water  have  become  hard  and  stiff.  3.  Salt  meat  which  has 
become  hard  from  long  keeping  is  also  called  junk,  because  it  is  said 
to  resemble  the  old  pieces  of  rope  in  its  texture. 

Jury. — The  word,  as  used  at  sea,  implies  a  substitute.  Hence, 
jury  mast,  a  temporary  mast, 
either  erected  in  a  new  vessel  to 
take  her  where  she  is  to  be 
masted,  or  one  taking  the  place 
of  a  permanent  mast  carried 
away,  or  one  employed  where  it 
is  impossible  to  elevate  the  per- 
manent mast.  Barges  navi- 
gating rivers  over  which  bridges 
are  numerous  and  low,  use  jury 
masts  habitually ;  they  may  be  seen  daily  on  the  London  river, 
between  bridges.     (See  fig.) 

Jury  rudder. — A  temporary  or  substitute  rudder,  or  any 
apparatus  enabling  a  vessel  to  be  steered  when  her  rudder  may 
have  been  carried  away. 


Eat. — An  old  timber  vessel. 

Heckling,  or  cackling. — In  the  days  of  hempen  cables,  wind- 
ing old  rope  alxmt  a  cable — or  the  winding  of  iron  chain  round  it 
to  prevent  chafing.  It  was  done  "  spirally  (in  opposition  to  round- 
ing, which  is  close)  with  three  incli  old  rope,  to  protect  it  from 
chafing  in  the  hawse  holes."    (Smyth.) 

A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEEMS.  135 

Kedge  (Old  English,  brisk). — A  small  anchor  carried  hy  large 
vessels  for  use  in  shallow  water,  or  for  keeping  the  main  anchor 
clear.  (See  ANCHOR.)  The  smaller  anchors  carried  hy  yachts  may 
also  be  called  kedges. 

Kedging,  or  kedge  hauling. — Working  a  vessel  against  tide,  or  in  a 
narrow  channel  by  means  of  kedges.  It  is  otherwise  called  warping 
(which  see). 

Keel. — The  word  keel  "  seems  originally  to  have  signified  an 
entire  ship ;  for  we  read  that  the  Saxons  invaded  England  in  caels, 
ceols,  or  cynlis  (i.e. ,  keels),  and  in  early  times  a  fleet  was  des- 
cribed as  so  many  keels.  This  signification  partly  lives  in  keelage, 
which  is  a  duty  levied  on  vessels  entering  certain  ports. "  The  coal- 
carrying  barges  of  the  Tyne  are  also  still  called  keels.  The  keel  is 
the  principal  timber  in  any  vessel,  resembling  the  backbone  of  the 
human  frame,  while  the  side  timbers  constitute  her  ribs.  It  is  the 
foundation  of  the  entire  structure,  and  must  be  of  the  best  material. 
In  small  centreboard  craft  the  keel  must  be  sufficiently  stout  to 
allow  of  a  slit  being  cut  through  it  to  admit  the  board.  In  boats 
the  keel  and  garboards  are  sometimes  of  one  piece.     (See  Frame.) 

False  keel. — This  is  a  lower  piece  added  to  the  main  keel,  usually 
for  the  purpose  of  giving  greater  depth  and  weight.  It  may  be  of 
iron  or  lead  ;  and  is  either  bolted  through  the  keel  or,  where  this 
cannot  be  done,  secured  by  plates  to  the  garboard  strakes.  In  large 
vessels  it  is  composed  of  two  pieces  called  "upper"  and  "  lower;" 
it  is  a  great  protection  to  the  keel,  and  is  occasionally  attached  to 
it  in  sucli  a  manner  that,  in  serious  cases  of  grounding,  it  may  come 
off,  leaving  the  main  keel  uninjured ;  such  cases  are  said  to  have 
actually  occurred. 

Keelson  (pronounced,  and  sometimes  written,  kelson). — An 
addition  to  the  keel  inside  the  boat.  It  rests  upon  the  keel  and  is 
an  indispensable  member,  taking  the  stepping  of  the  mast.  It 
also  serves  to  secure  the  feet  of  the  timbers  (ribs)  on  each  side 
of  it.     In  large  vessels  we  find,  in  addition  to  this  : 

Sister  keelsons,  or  side  keelsons,  which  keep  the  feet  of  the  timbers 
in  their  places  ;  also  a  keelson  rider — an  additional  tinjber  laid 
along  and  above  the  keelson  in  large  vessels  to  take  the  weight 
of  the  masts  and  distribute  it  along  the  keelson,  as  that  does 
along  the  keel  :  it  is  sometimes  called  the  false  keelson. 

The  keel  band,  usually  called  the  stem  band,  is  a  band  of  iron 
helping  to  bind  the  head  of  the  keel  and  the  stempost  together. 
In  doing  this  it  assists  the  deadwood  ;  and  it  further  acts  as  a 
stout  protection  to  the  head  of  the  keel.  For  illustrations  of  these 
parts  see  diagrams  under  FRAME.) 

Keel  hauling. — An  obsolete  punishment  once  apparently  practised 
in  the  Dutch  navy.  The  culprit  was  hauled  up  to  the  yard  arm, 
weights  being  attached  to  his  feet,  and  being  suddenly  let  fall,  was 
dragged  by  ropes  under  the  keel  of  the  vessel  and  up  to  the  opppsite 
yard  arm.  This  was  repeated  a  certain  number  of  times  according 
to  orders. 

36  A    DICTIONAF.Y    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

Keel  rope  (in  ships). — "  A  rope  running  between  the  keelson  and 
the  keel  of  a  ship,  to  clear  the  limber  holes  when  they  are  choked 
up  with  ballast,  etc." 

Even  keel  and  uneven  keel.  —  Terms  used  in  expressing  the 
manner  in  which  a  boat  floats.  If  she  balances  evenly  in  a  fore-and- 
aft  direction  she  is  on  an  even 

EVEN       KEFI 

keel.  If  she  is  depressed  either 
by  the  head  or  by  the  stern  she 
is  on  an  uneven  keel   (see  fig.). 

But  the  same  terms  are  often, 

though      not      correctly,      used  ■" \  ,S 

(especially  among  rowing  men)  V  uneven     *ffi    .-■ — -^""\ 

in  reference  to  her  trim  gener- 
ally ;  so  that  if  she  lies  over  on  one  side  they  still  say  she  is  on  an 
uneven   keel.     And  of  a  sculler  who  keeps  his  boat   very   level, 
laterally,  they  are  apt  to  say  that  he  keeps  it  on  an  even  keel. 

Keel-deeters. — Women  who  clean  out  the  Northumbrian  keels  for 
the  sake  of  the  sweepings  of  small  coal. 

Keeler. — A  small  tub. 

Keeling. — A  name  in  the  North  Sea  Fisheries  for  the  common  cod. 

Keep. — "Keep  her  away !" — An  order  to  a  helmsman  to  keep  a 
vessel's  head  more  off,   that   is  to  keep  her  more  before  the  wind. 

"  Keep  your  luff!" — Keep  the  vessel  close  to  the  wind  (see  Luff). 

"  Keep  full  for  stays  /" — Keep  the  sails  full  preparatory  to  putting 
the  vessel  about  (see  Tacking). 

"  Keep  the  land  a'board!" — Keep  as  near  the  land  as  may  be  safe. 

Kelds. — The  still  parts  of  a  river  which  have  an  oily  smooth- 
ness while  the  rest  of  the  water  is  ruffled. 

Kellagh. — Another  name  for  killiek.  It  once  meant  a  wooden 
anchor  weighted  with  stone. 

Kelp. — The  ash  of  sea  weed,  used  in  the  manufacture  of  iodine. 

Kelpie. — A  sea  bogey  or  spirit,  which  haunts  the  fiords  of 
Northern  Britain. 

Kelter. — This  word  has  a  meaning  somewhat  akin  to  the  term 
"  fettle,"  as  used  by  horsemen.  A  vessel  is  said  to  be  in  fine  kelter 
when  she  is  well  ordered  and  well  found,  and  ready  for  sea  ;  or 
when,  in  fact,  she  is  in  "  good  fettle." 

Kempstock. — An  old  name  for  a  capstan. 

Kennets. — Large  cleats  or  kevels  [which  see). 

Kentledge. — A  term  signifying  "pigs,"  or  shaped  pieces  of 
iron,  as  ballast,  laid  fore-and-aft  near  the  keelson  or  in  the  limbers 
of  a  vessel,  and  therefore  sometimes  called  limber -kentledge.  The 
term  may  also  mean  goods  used  in  lieu  of  ballast,  these  being  called 
kentledge  goods. 

Kerf. — The  sawn  away  slit  in  any  piece  of  timber. 

Kersey. — "A  coarse  stuff  used  on  many  occasions  in  a  ship,  such 
as  in  boxing  of  the  stem,  and  lining  the  ports,  for  the  purpose  of  ex- 
cluding the  water,  also  to  cover  the  main  ropes,  etc."     (Falconer.) 



Kervel.— (See  Cleat.)  .         , 

Ketch.-A  trading  vessel  with  two  masts,    main  and  mizzen. 

Various  Ketches. 

138  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEEMS. 

Both  these  masts  are  fore-and-aft  rigged,  the  mizzen  with  or  with- 
out a  topsail ;  and  there  is,  in  addition,  often  a  large  lower  square 
sail  set  on  the  main  mast.  The  ketch  is,  in  fact,  of  all  our  coast- 
ing traders,  perhaps  the  most  capable  of  variety  in  its  rig.  It  may 
set  one,  two,  or  even  three  square  sails  on  the  mainmast ;  as  many 
as  four  head  sails  ;  and  one,  or  even  two  staysails  between  masts. 
These  features  distinguish  it  from  the  yawl  (which  see. ) 

Within  a  recent  period  the  ketch  threatened  to  become  somewhat 
rare.  But  of  late  years  it  has  been  greatly  revived  in  the  coasting 
trade,  and  many  new  vessels  of  this  class  have  been  built,  especially 
upon  the  East  Coast. 

It  is  said  that  the  ketch  was  once  a  common  rig  for  yachts  :  and 
it  may  still  be  met  with  on  rare  occasions,  Lord  Dunraven  owning 
one  which  is  occasionally  raced. 

Kettle. — Kettle  bottomed  vessel. — One  with  flat  floor  and  bulging 
sides  ;    resembling,  in  fact,  the  form  of  a  kettle. 

"  A  fine  kettle  offish  !" — "  Here's  a  nice  mess  to  be  in  !" 

Kevel. — A  cleat  (ivhich  see). 

Kevel  heads. — The  ends  of  the  top  timbers  (ribs)  of  a  vessel  which, 
rising  above  the  gunwale,  serve  to  belay  ropes,  or  take  a  round 
turn  so  as  to  hold  on  by  a  warp,  etc. 

Key. — Key  model. — A  model  sometimes  made  by  yacht  builders 
of  a  boat  they  are  to  build,  on  the  lines  laid  down. 

Key  of  a  rudder. — The  fastenings,  i.e.,  the  forelocks,  pins,  etc. 
Otherwise  the  goodgeons  and  pintles  (which  see.) 

Kid,  otherwise  kit  (which  see).  1.  A  small  wooden  tub  for  grog 
or  rations.  It  often  has  two  ears  by  which  to  hold  it.  2.  A  com- 
partment in  a  fishing  vessel  for  the  storing  of  fish ;  but  since  the 
"  fleeting  "  system  has  come  in  (i.e.,  the  system  under  which  vessels 
fish  together  in  fleets,  their  catches  being  taken  from  them  daily 
by  steam  boats)  the  storing  of  fish  on  board  vessels  is  going  out. 

Killick,  killock,  or  killagh. — A  small  anchor ;  or,  along 
some  parts  of  the  coast,  a  grapnel,  when  it  is  also  called  a  creeper. 
(See  also  Kellagh.) 

King. — King  Arthur. — A  game  at  one  time  played  on  board 
vessels.  A  certain  person  represented  the  king,  in  which  enviable 
position  he  was  subjected  to  as  much  sousing  as  his  subjects  chose 
to  give  him  ;  and  this  went  on  until  he  was  able  to  make  one  of  the 
party  laugh,  when  it  became  that  one's  turn  to  assume  royalty  and 
receive  his  share  of  drenching. 

King's  bargain. — An  old  naval  term.  A  strange  man  pressed  on 
board  a  king's  ship  might  turn  out  a  good  or  bad  bargain  to  the  king. 

King's  benchers. — Another  naval  term  applied  to  those  galley 
orators  who  loved  to  hear  the  sound  of  their  own  voices,  or  to 
make  long  speeches. 

King's  own. — Still  another  relic  of  old  days.  It  was  one  of  many 
names  given  to  the  salt  beef  supplied  to  the  people.  (See  also  Junk, 
"Irish  Horse,"  under  Horse,  etc.) 

A    DICTIONAEY    OF    SEA    TEEMS.  139 

King's  parade. — The  quarter  deck  of  a  man  of  war,  which  is 
saluted  when  stepping  on  it,  in  honour  of  the  king.* 

Kink  (in  a  rope). — A  sharp  bend  (drawn  almost  to  a  loop) ; 
always  dangerous,  hut  more  especially 

so  in  wire  roping.     "  Rope  used  in  the    ^^^ags^»gSEss&5aa-i£r- 
artillery  service  is  coiled  with  the  sun,  Wkink 

i.e.,  from  left  to  right,  in  which  direc- 
tion the  yarns  are  also  twisted,  so  as  to  avoid  kinking." 

Kippage  (old  term). — A  ship's  company. 

Kit. — Any  small  vessel  or  tub  capable  of  containing  provisions  or 
liquids,  such  as  the  soup  sometimes  given  at  sea.  Sometimes,  too, 
the  term  would  appear  to  signify  a  ration,  as  a"  kit  of  beef. "  A 
boat's  baler,  or  any  old  can  or  pot  employed  in  that  capacity,  is  also 
occasionally  dignified  by  the  name  of  kit.     (See  also  KlD.) 

A  kit  also  means  a  person's  clothing,  such  as  may  be  put  in  a  kit  bag. 

Knees. — "  Crooked  pieces  of  timber,  having  two  branches  or 
arms,  and  generally  used  to  connect  the  beams  of  a  ship  with  her 
sides  or  timbers."  They  may  be  of  wood  or  iron  ;  elm  or  ash  are  the 
best  woods,  and  the  knees  are  of  one  piece  naturally  grown  to  the 
shape,  which  renders  them  very  costly,  and  for  which  reason  they  are 
now  often  replaced  by  iron  brackets.  A  wooden  vessel  contains  a 
vast  number  of  knees.  Knees  are  also  called  elbows,  and  sometimes 
chocks.  They  are  variously  named,  according  to  their  position  and 
use  :  as  dagger  knees,  those  placed  obliquely ;  diagonal  knees,  hanging 
knees,  helm-post  knees,  lodging  knees,  those  placed  horizontally  in 
the  ship's  body  ;  standard  or  standing  knees,  with  one  arm  vertical ; 
transom  knees,  wing-transom  knees,  etc.  ;  knee  of  the  head,  usually 
called  the  cutwater  (which  see),  etc.  (in  shipbuilding). — The  heads  (or  small  posts) 
at  the  stem  of  a  vessel,  between  which  the  bowsprit  runs.  In  small 
craft  the  stemhead  forms  one  of  these  posts,  and  another  smaller 
one  is  set  up,  usually  on  the  port  side  of 

it ;  in  this  case  the  smaller  head  is  called  Knicwt  head* 

the  knighthead.  It  will  be  seen  that  "- — Wm^ 
since  the  bowsprit  in  such  craft  as 
yachts,  sailing  boats,  fishing  smacks, 
etc.,  usually  runs  out  on  the  deck,  the 
bulwarks  cannot  be  carried  right  up 
to  the  stemhead.  One  of  the  offices  of 
the  knightheads,  therefore,  is  to  take 
the  forward  end  of  the  bulwarks,  leav- 
ing an  aperture  for  the  bowsprit  to  pass 
through.  The  case  is  different  in  large 
vessels,  where  the  knightheads  are  carried  up  on  each  side  of  the 
stemhead,  being,  in  fact,  prolongations  of  the  foremost  cant-timbers 
of  the  ship.     Here  they  are  sometimes  also  called  bollard-heads. 

*  These  terms  should  perhaps  find  their  place  under  the  heading  Queen.  As 
ancient  terms  they  are,  however,  placed  as  in  old  works. 

140  A    DICTIONABY    OP    SEA    TEEMS. 

Knit. — The  technical  name  for  a  twist  in  a  chain. 

Knittles. — Nettles  or  reef-points. — Small  lines  used  for  various 
purposes  at  sea,  as  to  reef  sails  from  below,  etc.  The  loops  or 
buttons  of  a  sail's  bonnet  are  also  sometimes  so  called.  {See  BONNET.) 

Knot. — A  knot,  a  nautical  mile  per  hour,  is  a  measure  of 
speed,  but  is  not  infrequently,  though  erroneously,  used  as 
synonymous  with  a  nautical  mile.  (See  Mile.)  The  name  is 
derived  from  the  knots  formerly  tied  in  the  log  line  to  determine 
a  ship's  speed.     {See  Lead.) 

Knots  (the  fastening  of  ropes). — The  art  of  knot-tying  at 
sea  must  necessarily  be  perfect ;  for  the  whole  safety  of  a  vessel 
under  sail  depends  upon  it.  There  are  a  vast  number  of  knots  if 
all  those  which  have  been  invented  for  various  purposes  be  counted  ; 
but  a  few  only  need  occupy  the  attention  of  the  amateur  sailor. 
These,  however,  are  absolutely  essential  to  his  safety,  and  with 
them  he  should  become  completely  familiar.  The  knots  in  general 
use  at  sea  may  be  classed  (for  present  purposes)  as  follow : — 
splicings,  whippings,  lashings,  hitches,  bends,  bowlines,  and 

N.B.  It  is  important  in 
making  knots  to  take 
plenty  of  rope  in  hand, 
and  not  to  make  them 
too  near  the  end.  The 
technical  names  for  the 
various  parts  of  a  rope  are 
(see  tig.  1) — 1.  The  stand- 
ing part ;  2.  The  bight  or 
bend  ;  3.  The  end.  v  r   , 

SPLICING.— The    ob- 
ject of  this  is  to  join  two  ends  of  rope  permanently  together.    There 
are  three  forms  of  splicing  in  general  use  :     1.  The  long  splice  ;  2. 
The  short  splice ;  3.  The  eye-splice. 

1.  "  The  long  splice  is  used  to  unite  two  ends  which  have  to  pass 
through  a  block.  It  is  formed  by  untwisting  the  two  ends,  and 
interweaving  the  strands  of  one  in  the  alternate  strands  of  the 
other  :  they  must  be  hauled  well  through  and  beaten  with  a  marline 
spike."  Beyond  this,  it  is  impossible  to  teach  on  paper  the 
method  of  making  this  splice  ;  but  it  is  easily  to  be  learned  from 
some  fisherman,  and  is  a  very  useful  art  to  be  master  of. 

2.  The  short  splice  is  for  joining  two  ends  of  rope  together 
for  ordinary  use.  This,  too,  though  easily  learned,  is  difficult 
to  teach  on  paper.  The  accompanying  diagrams  (fig.  2)  will, 
however,  explain  the  principle  of  the  method.  1st  motion :  Unlay 
the  strands  of  each  rope  and  place  the  ends  close  together,  so  that 
the  unlaid  strands  fit  into  each  other  as  in  the  fig.  2nd  motion: 
Take  the  left-hand  rope  and  the  three  strands  of  the  right- 
hand    one    firmly    in    the    left   hand.      Take   the   strand    A,    pass 



it  over  the  strand  nearest   to  it   and   under  the  next  (as  in  the 
small   figure)  :   this  is  the  middle^  strand ;   see  that  this  is  right 
and   the   others    should 
two  strands  B   and  C. 
opposite   three  strands. 
The  first  portion  of  the 

follow.      Do    the    same    with    the    other 
Turn  the  ropes  and  do  the  same  with  the 



splicing  is  now  accom- 
plished. Repeat  it  a 
second  time.  3rd  mo- 
tion :  Unlay  each  of  the 
six  projecting  strands 
(as  at  A),  and  cut  half 
the  yarns  away  (as  at 
B),  the  object  of  this 
being  that  the  splice 
may  be  finished  off 
neatly.  Pass  all  these 
reduced  strands  once 
more  (or  if  necessary, 
twice)  under  the  main 
strands  and  cut  off  the 
ends,  not  too  close. 
The  splice  is  complete. 

3.  The  eye-splice  (fig. 
3)  forms  an  eye  or  cir- 
cle at  the  end  of  a  rope. 
The  end  of  the  rope  is 
unlaid,  and  a  portion 
of  the  standing  part, 
sufficiently  far  down,  is 
laid  open  to  receive  the 
loose  strands,  which  are 
spliced  in  just  the  same 
way  as  in  splicing  two 
ropes  together. 

whip  a  rope  is  to  bind 
the  end  of  it  with  spun 
yarn,  usually  tarred,  so 
that  the  end  may  not 
unravel.  The  simplest 
method  of  whipping  is 
as  follows  (fig.  4,  page  142):  1st  motion:  Lay  the  yarn  on  the  rope  an 
inch  or  more  from  the  end  and  begin  binding.  2nd  motion:  Con- 
tinue binding  until  within  three  or  four  laps  of  the  finish.  Then 
make  a  large  bend  with  the  yarn,  holding  the  end  firmly  down  with 
the  thumb.  Continue  binding  with  the  yarn  at  A,  taking  it  over  B. 
3rd  motion :  Having  taken  three  or  four  laps  over  the  ytim  B,  pull 
the  end  C  tightly  down.     Cut  it  off,  and  the  whipping  is  complete. 



2.— Short  Splice. 



Fig.  3.— Eye  Splice. 

LASHING. — The  commonest  lashing  is  the  reef  or  right  knot. 
It  has  a  multitude  of  uses,  as  for  tying  the  head  of  a  sail  to  its 
gaff,  a  top  sail  to  its  yard,  etc.,  but  it 
derives  its  name  (reef)  from  the  fact 
that  reef  points  are  always  tied  with 
this  knot.  It  is  with  the  reef  knot 
that  the  mistake  so  often  occurs  which 
results  in  an  unsafe  fastening  called 
the  ''''granny.'''  The  diagram  (fig.  5) 
will  show  the  difference  between  these. 
The  invariable  rule  for  tying  the  reef 
knot  is  —  whichever  end  is  uppermost 
after  the  first  motion,  must  be  upper- 
most in  beginning  the  second.  The 
reef  knot,  when  so  tied  that  it  may  be 
more  easily  undone,  is  called  a  draw 
knot,  and  may  be  either  single  or 
double.  In  the  single  draw  knot,  the 
first  motion  of  the  reef  knot  having 
l>een  made,  a  bend  is  made  in  one  of 
the  projecting  ends,  and  that  bend  or 
double-end  is  used  to  finish  the  knot  , 
with  the  other  single  end.  In  the 
double  draw  knot  both  projecting  ends 
are  doubled  and  the  knot  is  finished  with  them,  making,  in  fact,  a  bow. 

Besides  the  reef  knot,  ropes  may  also  be  lashed  together  with 
the  common  bend,  the  carrick  bend,  and  others,  while  the  lashing 
of  spars  is  accomplished  by  the  use  of  the  various  hitches,  bends,  etc" 

HITCHES.  —  Of 
the  latches  there  are 
various  sorts,  the 
most  useful  being 
as  follow  : — 

1.  "  Taking  the 
hitch."  —  This  is 
merely  the  turning - 
under  of  a  halyard 
or  sheet  end,  to 
complete  the  belay- 
ing of  it  round  a 
belaying  pin  or  a 
cleat.  (See  fig.  under 

2.  A  half-hitch  is 
merely  a  turning-in 
of  the  end  of  a  rope. 

3.  Two  halj '-hitches. —Another  turn  or  hitch  taken  in  the  rope. 
This  knot  is  useful  for  quickly  bending  a  rope  round  a  post ;  making 
fast  the  painter  of  a  boat  to  a  rail ;  bending  a  rope  to  a  ring  ;  tyin<* 
clew  lines  of  hammocks,  etc.     (See  fig.  6.)  ° '  ° 

Fig.  4.— Whipping. 





4.  Clove  hitch. — One  of  the  simplest  and  yet  most  useful  knots 
ever  invented.  It  is  one  by  which  a  weight  can  be  hung  to  a 
smooth  mast,  and  is  generally  used  where  a  rope  is  passed  round  any 
spar  to  be  hauled  on.    It  may  be  employed,  however,  in  place  of  the 

half-hitch  and  often  in  place  of  a 
bend,  as  for  fastening  a  jib  to  its 
stay,  etc.  The  clove  hitch  may  be 
made  in  two  ways,  that  is,  either 
round  a  spar,  or  in  the  hand  and 
then  slipped  over  the  spar.  (See 
fig.  7,  page  144.) 

5.  Timber  hitch.  —  For  taking  a 
rope  quickly  round  a  bollard  or  a 
spar,  or  for  moving  a  weight.  The 
end  of  the  rope  is  taken  round  the 
object  and  simply  turned  over  twice 
as  in  the  diagram  (fig.  8,  page  145). 

6.  Blackmail  hitch. — To  make  fast 
a   rope  to  a   hook    for  a  temporary 

SintU  or  Milf Milch 

Fig.  5.— Reef  ok  Right  Knot 
and  "Granny." 

Fig.  6.— Two  Half-hitches. 

pull:    it  is  not  unlike  "taking   the   hitch."     The   knot   is  very 
simple,  as  will  be  seen  from  the  diagram  (fig.  9,  page  145). 

7.  Harness  hitch. — This  knot  derives  its  name  from  the  fact 
that  it  is  often  used  to  harness  men  to  a  tow-line.  It  has  various 
other  uses,  however,  inasmuch  as  it  enables  a  loop  to  be  quickly 



made  in  a  rope  the  ends  of  which  are  already  engaged.  Its 
one  disadvantage  is  that  when  being  drawn  tight  it  is  apt  to 
turn  itself  in  such  a  manner  as  to  slip,  even  though  it  may  be 
quite  correctly  made.  Extreme  care  must,  therefore,  be  taken 
in  drawing  it  close ;  but  when  once  tight  it  is  safe.  For  practice 
this  knot  may  be  made  on  the  ground,  or  on  a  table  ;  but  for  use  it 
is  generally  made  in  the  hand,  when  it  is  best  to  place  the  right  foot 
on  the  right  hand  part  of  the  rope,  or  a  foot  on  each  side.  (Reference 
must  be  made  to  fig.  10,  page  145.)  1st  motion:  Make  a  large  loop, 
laying  right  over  left.  2nd  motion:  Pick  up  A  and  bring  it  over  B. 
3rd  motion:  Place  the  hand  under  B  and  grasp  the  rope  at  C.  ±th 
motion:    Draw  C  right  through,  as  in  the  diagram,  and  tighten. 

/iS2>r  HOUND 

/»     SPA  ft 

TO    SUP      OV€R 
A     SPAR 


Fig.  7.— Clove  Hitch. 

8.  The  magnus  hitch  may  also  be  occasionally  found  useful,  in 
bending  a  rope  to  the  shackle  of  an  anchor  or  to  a  ring,  though  the 
fisherman's  bend  [see  below)  answers  the  same  purpose  and  is  more 

BENDS. — The  bends  also  are  numerous  and  varied.  They  derive 
the  name  from  the  word  "bend,"  which  means  to  "fasten  on,"  as 
bending  a  sail  to  the  spars,  one  rope  to  another,  a  rope  to  an  anchor 
or  ring,  etc. 

1.  Comm/m  bend  (fig.  11). — Almost  the  only  knot  by  which  two 
ropes  of  greatly  differing  sizes  can  be  joined  together.    To  make  the 









.Fig.  11.— Common  Bend. 

Fig.  jo.— Harness  Hitch. 




knot  let  one  rope  be  regarded  as  stationary,  the  other  as  working. 
Bend  the  left  hand,  or  stationary  rope,  into  the  form  of  a  simple  hook, 
and  then  pass  the  working  rope  as  shown.  When  this  knot  is  used 
to  bend  a  rope  to  a  cringle,  or  a  sheet  to  its  sail,  it  is  called  the^ 

2.  Sheet  bend  (fig.  12),  which  is 
formed  by  passing  the  end  of  the  rope 
through  the  cringle  and  taking  two 
turns  round  that,  under  the  bight. 

3.  Fisherman's  bend  (fig.  13),  for 
bending  a  rope  to  a  ring  or  to  the 
shackle  of  an  anchor.  1st  motion :  Two 
turns  round  the  ring,  going  over  the 
standing  part  each  time.  2nd  motion: 
Two  half  hitches,  the  first  enclosing 
both  turns. 

4.  Halyard  bends. — Top-sail  or  lug- 
sail  halyards  may  be  bent  to  their 
yards  in  several  ways,  the  most  usual 
being  the  Clove  hitch,  the  Fisherman's 
bend,  or  that  which  is  sometimes  called 
the  top-sail  halyard  bend,  in  which  three  turns  are  taken  round  the- 
spar,  beginning  the  knot  by  passing  the  rope  underneath,  andthen. 
finishing  as  in  the  diagram  (fig.  14). 

Fig.  12.— Sheet  Bend. 


Fig.  13. 
Fisherman's  Bend. 

Fig.  14. 
Halyard  Bend. 



BOWLINE.— This  knot  is  extremely  use- 
ful. It  serves  to  make  a  large  loop  at  the  end 
of  a  hawser  or  any  other  rope,  which  may 
he  thrown  over  a  bollard  for  hauling  on  to. 
A  running  knot  may  also  be  made  by  pass- 
ing the  main  part  of  the  rope  through  this 


Fig.  15.— Bowline. 


Fig.  16.— Collar  Knot. 

loop.  The  bowline  may  be  left  permanently  on  the  rope,  for  use 
at  any  moment.  The  diagram  (fig.  15)  will  explain  the  method 
of  making  it. 

COLLAR  KNOT  (fig.  16),  for  fitting  shrouds  to  a  small  mast. 
Two  ropes  being  taken  (or  one  long  one  doubled  into  two  legs),  a 
simple  overhand  loop  {see  fig.)  is  made  in  the 
middle  of  one,  and  the  other  rope  passed  through 
this,  the  loop  being  then  passed  over  the  head  of 
the  mast.  Thus  there  will  be  four  shrouds,  two 
on  either  side.  The  fishermen  occasionally  use 
this  in  case  of  their  shrouds  breaking. 

STOPPER  KNOTS.— These  are  for  prevent- 
ing the  end  of  a  rope  from  flying  loose  or  slip- 
ing  through  some  nng  or  fairlead,  and  may  be 
therefore  of  various  sorts.  The  simplest  is 
the  common  over-hand  thumb  or  end  knot, 
which  is  no  more  than  a  turning-in  of  the 
end  of  the  rope.  An  equally  simple  and  very 
elegant  one  is  the  figure  of  eight,  with  which 
the  ends  of  jib  or  foresail  sheets  are  often 
stoppered.  Both  will  be  understood  by  the 
diagram  (fig.  17).  Another  is  the  Matthew 
Walker. — "A  knot  so  termed  from  the  origina- 
tor. It  is  formed  by  a  half-hitch  on  each 
strand  in  the  direction  of  the  lay,  so  that 
the  rope  can  be  continued  after  the  knot  is  F1eight°F 
formed,    which  shows  as  a  traverse  collar   of         '    piG  17 

*L   2 




three  strands.     It  is  the  knot  often  used  on  the  end  of  the  lan- 
yards of  rigging,  where  dead-eyes  are  employed." 

SLIP  KNOT  or  running  knot. — A  very  simple  knot  (see  diagram, 
tig.  18),  which  draws  anything  very  close  and  slips  easily. 

Fiu.  18. 



Fig.  19.— Sheepshank. 

Among  other  knots  the  sheepshank  (fig.  19)  will  he  found  useful, 
its  object  being  to  shorten  a  cable  or  warp  both  ends  of  which  are 
engaged.     A  study  of  the  diagram  will  make  the  method  plain. 

Koff. —  "  A  small  two-masted  vessel  formerly  employed  in  the 
Dutch  fisheries.  It  had  two  masts,  main  and  fore,  with  a  large 
sprit  sail  abaft  each.  This  arrangement  enabled  her  to  sail  very 
close  to  the  wind,  and  she  could  set  square  sails  if  the  wind  happened 
to  be  astern."     (Brande  and  Cox.) 

Kreel,  or  creel. — A  framework  of  timber  for  taking  fish,  or  for 
preserving  them  in  the  water.  An  osier  basket  or  pot.  A  crab  pot. 
A  fishing  basket. 

Krennels. — The  smaller  cringles  on  a  square  sail  for  bowline 
bridles,  etc. 


L.L.L. — The  three  L's, — Lead,  Latitude,  Look-out.  The  motto 
to  which  the  old  seamen  pinned  their  faith,  in  preference  to  putting 
any  trust  in  modern  appliances. 

Labour. — When  a  vessel  pitches  and  strains  in  a  heavy  sea  she  is 
said  to  labour. 

Lacing. — A  thin  rope  for  lacing  a  sail  to  a  boom  or  yard,  or  to  a 
stay.  A  foresail  may  be  made  to  run  on  the  forestay  either  by 
shackles  or  by  a  lacing.     In  racing  yachts  the  mainsail  is  usually 



J3oon\  Laeings 


laced  to  the  boom  ;  but 
in  cruisers  this  plan  is 
seldom  followed.  A  jib- 
headed  topsail  is  occa- 
sionally laced  to  the 
topmast  of  a  yacht ; 
and  a  jack-topsail  to 
its  yard. 

Laden  in  bulk. 
Carrying    loose    cargo, 
such  as  salt,  ice,  some- 
times corn,  etc. 

Ladies'  ladder  (in 
ships).  —  Shrouds  rat- 
tled too  closely,  i.e., 
shrouds  in  which  the 
ratlines  (which  see)  are 
so  close  together  that  a  lady  might  walk  up  them  without  difficulty. 

Lagan,  or  ligsam. — In  law,  a  term  applied  to  goods  jettisoned, 
but  secured  by  almoy  or  mooring.  (See  Flotsam  and  Jetsam.) 

Laggers. — A  name  at  one  time  given  to  men  who  were  employed 
in  taking  canal  barges  through  tunnels,  which  they  did  by  lying  on 
their  backs  and  working  with  their  feet  along  the  head  of  the  arch- 
ways. This  may  still  be  seen  on  the  inland  canals,  and  is  as  often 
as  not  assisted  in  by  the  women  who  live  on  board  the  canal  boats. 

Lagging  and  priming  of  the  tides.— (In  physics).— A 
phenomenon  of  the  tides,  in  consequence  of  which  the  intervals 
between  high  water  at  any  particular  place  are  irregular.  The 
cause  is  the  combined  action  of  the  sun  and  moon  ;  and  the  effect  is 
most  apparent  about  the  times  of  new  and  full  moon.  At  these 
times  the  tides  are  called  spring  tides,  and  are  higher  at  high  water 
and  lower  at  low  water  than  during  the  periods  of  the  first  and 
third  quarters  of  the  moon,  when  they  are  called  neap-tides.  (See 
Making  of  the  Tides.) 

Laid  np. — A  vessel  unrigged  or  dismantled  during  winter ;  or 
lacking  employment. 

Laid  up  in  ordinary. — A  naval  term  signifying  that  a  ship  is  laid 
up  in  a  state  of  total  inaction. 

Lamb's-wool  sky. — White  masses  of  fleecy  cloud,  often  por- 
tending rain. 

Land. — Lands. — In  boat-building,  the  overlapping  part  of  the 
planks  in  a  clincher-built  boat.  (See  "Clincher- building,"  under 

Land-locked. — A  bay  or  haven  almost  surrounded  by  land,  and, 
therefore,  a  safe  haven. 

Landmark. — Any  conspicuous  object  on  land,  serving  as  a  guide  or 
warning  to  ships  at  sea. 

150  A    DICTIONARY    OP    SEA    TERMS. 

Landsman. — At  sea,  the  rating  of  a  sailor ;  the  second-class 
ordinary  seaman.  Formerly  it  meant  one  who  had  not  before  been 
to  sea. 

Lanyards. — Short  pieces  of  rope  having  various  uses  at  sea,  the 
most  important  of  which  is  the  taughtening  down  of  the  shrouds  of 
a  mast  by  the  deadeyes  {which  see).  One  end  of  the  lanyard  being 
passed  through  one  of  the  holes  in  the  upper  dead-eye,  is  stop-knotted 
to  prevent  its  drawing  out ;  the  other  end  is  then  rove  up  and  down 
through  all  the  holes  in  the  deadeyes,  hauled  taut,  and,  to  keep  it 
taut,  is  lashed  round  the  lanyard  itself  in  a  system  of  clove  hitches. 

Lapstrake. — The  method  of  boat-building  called  clincher-build- 
ing.    (See  Build.) 

larboard.— The  old  term  for  "  port, "  or  the  left-hand  side  of 
a  vessel.  The  word  being  too  much  like  "  sta  rboard  "  in  sound, 
was  officially  abolished. 

Large. — "  A  phrase  applied  to  the  wind  when  it  crosses  the  line 
of  a  ship's  course  in  a  favourable  direction,  particularly  on  the  beam 
or  quarter." 

To  sail  large  is,  therefore,  to  go  forward  with  a  wind  large.  It  is 
the  same  as  sailing  free,  or  off  the  wind ;  and  the  opposite  to  sailing 
close-hauled  or  on  the  wind. 

Lash. — To  bind  or  make  fast  by  ropes.  To  reef-knot  two  ropes 
together  is  often  called  lashing  them.     (See  Knots.) 

A  lashing  is  a  rope  securing  any  movable  object. 

Lash  the  tiller. — To  tie  the  tiller  down  on  one  side  or  the  other, 
as  is  sometimes  done  in  ships  when  trying,  or  in  fishing  boats  when 
trawling  or  dredging.  With  the  tiller  lashed  a  vessel  is  confined  on 
a  certain  tack  and  unable  to  run  away  from  the  wind.  Hence,  in 
general  conversation,  when  a  person  makes  a  determination  from 
which  he  will  not  be  moved,  he  is  sometimes  said  to  "  Lash  the 

Lasher. — On  the  Upper  Thames,  the  body  of  water  just  about 
the  fall  of  a  weir  and  usually  marked  by  a  system  of  white  posts  set 
up  on  the  stonework.  The  lasher  is  often  marked  "  Danger"  :  in 
any  case  it  is  well  to  keep  away  from  it. 

Laskets,  or  latchets  (occasionally  called  keys). — Small  lines 
sewed  to  the  bonnet  or  to  the  drabler  of  a  sail  to  lash,  or  lace,  one  to 
the  other. 

Latching  eye,  or  latchet  eye. — The  loops  in  the  head  of  a  bonnet 
through  which  the  laskets  are  passed. 

Lasking  (old  term). — To  go  a' tasking  is  much  the  same  as  sailing 
large  (which  see). 

Lastage. — The  ballast  or  lading  of  a  ship. 

Latch. — A  "  dropping  to  leeward. "     (Winn). 

Latchet. — See  Laskets. 

Lateen. — A  rig  peculiar  to  vessels  navigating  the  Mediterranean 
and  other  eastern  seas.      It  consists  of  a  triangular  sail  of  large 

A   DICTIONARY    OF    SEA   TERMS.  151 

size  bent  to  a  very  long  yard. 
This  rig  was  at  one  time  very 
much  employed  on  the  rivers  of 
Norfolk  and  Suffolk,  but  has 
now  become  entirely  obsolete. 
The  mast  was  stepped  well 
forward,  was  without  shrouds  or 
-stay,  and  raked  forward.  The  sail 
was  bent  to  a  yard  above  and  a 
short  boom  below,  the  yard  being 
of  immense  length,  sometimes  - 
twice  that  of  the  boat  itself. 

Latitude.  —  Distance  north 
or  south  of  the  Equator,  ex- 
pressed in  degrees.  Lateen  Sail. 

Launch. — 1.  In  the  Royal 
Navy,  the  principal  boat  belonging  to  a  flag-ship. 

2.  To  launch. — To  put  a  new  vessel  into  the  water.  The  act  is 
always  attended  M'ith  a  certain  amount  of  ceremony. 

3.  A  launch,  in  the  popular  meaning  of  the  word,  is  a  small  vessel 
propelled  by  some  motor,  and  generally  used  in  harbour  or  river 
service,  or  for  pleasure.  When  it  becomes  large  enough  for  coasting 
work  it  is  classed  as  a  steam  yacht.  Of  late  years  launches  have 
been  made  to  run  by  either  steam  or  electricity.  Steam  being  un  - 
deniably  dirty,  and  electricity  both  expensive  and  inconvenient,  the 
use  of  oil  motors  is  steadily  coining  in.  These  have  for  some  time 
suffered  under  the  charge  of  smell, which-,  it  must  be  confessed,  has 
been  but  justly  brought  against  them.  The  difficulty  is,  however, 
being  surmounted ;  oil  engines  are,  at  the  time  of  writing,  still 
in  their  infancy,  but  we  cannot  help  thinking  that  they  must 
eventually  supersede  both  the  other  motors  for  use  in  small 

Lay. — 1.  This  word  at  sea  often  means  to  "  go,"  as  Lay  forioard 
or  aft,  Go  forward  or  aft. 

To  lay  out  upon  a  yard  is  to  go  out  towards  the  yard  arms. 
To  lay  in  off  a  yard. — To  return  towards  the  mast. 

2.  In  another  sense  the  term  means  to  rest  quiet,  as  to  lay  to,  to 
keep  a  vessel  motionless  by  putting  her  head  to  wind  and  so  dispos- 
ing the  sails  that  the  effect  of  one  may  counteract  that  of  another, 
and  therefore  prevent  her  falling  off  from  the  wind. 

To  lay  on  one's  oars,  in  other  words  to  rest  on  the  oars,  is  to  leave 
the  oars  on  or  just  above  the  water,  blades  flat. 

To  lay  in  the  oars. — To  unship  and  lay  them  down  in  the  boat. 

3.  But  in  another  sense,  again,  it  may  imply  precisely  the  opposite, 
as  "  Lay  to  "  (in  rowing),  an  encouragement  to  row  hard,  or,  in  any 
work,  to  go  to  work  with  a  will. 

4.  In  shipbuilding,  to  lay  down  the  lines  of  a  vessel,  is  to  delineate 
her  form  according  to  rule  (See  Lines),  and  when  it  is  thus  shown 
her  bines  are  said  to  be  "  laid  down." 



Laying  off. — The  modelling  in  thin  wood  of  any  section  -of-  a, 
vessel  under  construction. 

5.  In  ropemaking,  the  lay  of  a  rope  is  the  direction  in  which  the 
strands  are  twisted.  Thus  if  they  turn  in  a  right  hand  direction, 
as  is  the  general  case,  they  constitute  that  which  is  called  hawser- 
laid,  while  left-handed  rope  is  called  cable-laid,  cablet,  or  water- 
laid.     {See  Rope.) 

6.  Lay-day. — The  day  hy  which  a  cargo  must  he  shipped  or  dis- 
charged, "  and  if  not  done  within  the  term,  fair  weather  permitting, 
the  vessel  comes  out  on  demurrage," — i. e. ,  compensation  may  De- 
claimed hy  the  shipper,  for  delay.  Thus  we  have  the  description  of 
Captain  Cuttle  : 

"  A  rough  hardy  seaman, 
Unused  to  shore's-ways, 
Knew  little  of  ladies, 
But  much  of  lay-days." 

Lazy  guy. — A  rope  or  tackle  hy  which  a  boom  is  held  down 
so  that  it  may  not  swing  about  in  rough  weather. 

Lead. — 1.  (For  sounding,  commonly  called  the  lead  and  line). — 
A  leaden  weight  attached  to  the  end  of  a  line  and  used  to  ascertain 
the  depth  of  water  beneath  a  vessel  and  the  nature  of  the  soil- 
There  are  two  lead  lines,  the 
deep  sea  lead  carried  only  by  large 
vessels,  and  the  hand  lead  with 
which  every  form  of  sailing  craft 
should  be  furnished  when  going 
into  strange  waters.  The  hand 
lead  is  20  fathoms  in  length, 
and  has  a  distinguishing  mark 
at  every  fathom  ;  these  divisions 
are  called  marks  and  deeps,  or 
dips.  In  a  regulation  lead  line 
there  are  nine  marks  placed  at 
the  intervals  2,  3,  5,  7,  10,  13, 
15,  17,  20  :  the  rest  are  the  deeps. 
The  marks  2,  3,  and  10  may  be 
known  bysmall  pieces  of  leather, 
the  2  having  two  ends,  and  the 
3  three  ends,  while  the  10  has  a 
hole  through  it.  The  fathoms 
5  and  15  are  marked  by  white 
bunting  ;  7  and  17,  red  ;  13,  blue  ; 
and  20  by  two  knots.  The  weight 
may  be  of  any  shape,  but  it 
should  have  a  hollow  bottom  which  may  be  filled  with  tallow,  so 
that  a  portion  of  soil  is  brought  up,  thereby  enabling  an  ex- 
perienced person  to  judge  his  position  by  reference  to  his  notes  ; 
but  this  is  of  little  use  to  the  amateur.     In  heaving  the  lead  it  should 

Hand  Lead. 

A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEEMS.  153 

be  swung  well  out  forward  and  stopped  running  the  moment  it  jerks. 
To  know  when  it  does  this  it  must  be  allowed  to  run  through  the 
hands.  It  is  interesting  to  notice  that  the  sounding  lead  is  men- 
tioned by  Lucilius.     It  was  also  the  sund-gyrd  of  the  Anglo-Saxons. 

2.  Lead  (for  ballast). — The  best  but  at  the  same  time  the  most 
expensive  ballast  for  small  boats.     (See  Ballast.) 

Leadfair. — Any  ring,  or  block,  or  liole  which  leads  a  rope  in  the 
direction  required.     (See  FAIELEAD.) 

Leading. — 1.  (Of  atackle). — The  leading  part  of  a  tackleis  that 
part  of  the  rope  which  leads  towards  the  standing  (or  fixed)  end, 
and  is,  therefore,  the  moving  part  of  the  rope.  (See  TACKLE.) 
Smyth  describes  it  as  the  rope  of  a  tackle  which  runs  between  the 
fall  and  the  standing  part,  and  generally  confounded  with  the  fall. 

2.  (Of  the  wind). — A  leading  wind  is  a  free  or  fair  wind,  in  con- 
tradistinction to  the  term  a  scant  wind  (which  see). 

3.  Leading  strings. — Another  name  for  yoke  lines.     (SeeYoKR.) 
Leak. — Any  split,  hole,  or  fissure  in  the  hull  of  a  vessel  which 

allows  water  to  enter.  When  a  vessel  suddenly  develops  a  leakage  she 
is  said  to  have  sprung  a  leak.  Small  leaks  may  sometimes  be  stopped 
by  fathering  (see  F OTHER)  :  in  boats  it  is  customary  to  apply  tingles. 

When  a  boat  lets  in  the  water  between  her  planks  she  is  described 
as  leaky :  this  may  be  the  result  either  of  laying  up  ashore,  or  of 
age  and  strain.  In  the  latter  case,  and  if  the  boat  be  clincher -built, 
it  is  sometimes  remedied,  for  a  time,  by  doubling  (which  see). 

The  signal  N.S.  of  the  International  Code  signifies  "I  have 
sprung  a  leak." 

Lean  bow. — A  sharp  entrance  (which  see). 

Leather  (of  an  oar). — That  part  of  the  oar  which  works  in  the 
rowlocks.    It  is  so  called  because  it  is  bound  with  leather.    (See  Oae.  ) 

Lee  and  Leeward  (pronounced  foo-axd  or  lew-ard). — The  lee 
side  of  a  vessel  is  the  side  opposite  to  that  upon  which  the  wind 
blows ;  the  other  side  being  called  the  windward  or  weather  side. 
Leeward  means  "  on  the  lee-side"  ;  thus  a  vessel  to  leeward  would  be 
seen  over  the  lee  side.  To  be  under  the  lee  of  any  vessel,  object,  or 
shore,  is  to  be  under  its  shelter  ;  that  is,  on  the  lee  side  of  it.  So 
that  if  we  pass  close  under  shelter  of  a  large  ship  which  may  take  all 
the  wind  out  of  our  sails,  we  come  under  its  lee  ;  or  if  we  lie  at  anchor 
close  under  a  shore  off  which  the  wind  is  blowing,  and  receive,  there- 
fore, the  shelter  of  its  cliffs,  we  hie  under  the  lee  of  that  shore. 

A  lee  shore,  on  the  3>i re  c  t  i  o  n. 

otherhand,isashore  "C    .   ..■,  ;    , ; .     . 

upon  which  the  wind 

blows  ;  so  that  if  we 

are    driven    by    the 

force   of    the   wind 

towards  such  a  shore 

we    are   said   to   be  ,  ?"- £    .  XndiVL 

,  .  ,  l  ;e  6hore  the  Lee 

driven    upon   a   lee  .  tfie  ikorz 

shore.     (See  hg.  1.)  Fia  ^ 


A    DICT10NAEY    OF    SEA    TEEMS. 



A  lee  tide  is  a  tide  running  in  the  same  direction  as  the  wind 
blows.  A  tide  under  the  lee  is  a  tide  in  a  direction  opposite  to  that 
of  the  wind. 

In  explanation  of  this  let  us  suppose  ourselves  sailing  with  the 
wind  a'beam.  (See  fig.  2.)  If  the  tide  is  in  the  same  direction  as 
the  wind  (or,  in  other 
words,  if  it  runs  towards 
the  leeward),  carrying  us 
away  with  it,  we  have 
a  lee  tide.  But  if  the 
tide  runs  to  windward, 
that  is,  up  against  the 
wind,  it  is  a  weather 
tide ;  and  hecause  it  presses  against  the  lee  side  of  the  boat,  it  is, 
therefore,  said  to  be  under  its  (the  hoat's)  lee.     (fig.  2.) 

Lee-way  is  the  difference  (or  distance)  between  the  course  steered 
by  a  vessel  and  that  actually  run,  when  the  wind  is  on  any  part 
of  her  side.  In  fig.  3  A  is  the  position  of  the  ship.  If  the 
wind  or  current  (or  both)  be  coming 

Weather  Tide. 

Fig.  2. 

Lee  Tide. 

B>-— - 

— »• 


r  c 

or  current 

from  the  direction  marked  and  the 
point  B  is  to  be  made,  the  helms- 
man will  take  into   account   the  "  x, 
action  of  wind  and  current,  and 
will  steer  his  boat  towards  another  N  * 
point  C,  some  distance  above  B.  ^v 
A    C    is,    therefore,    the    course  \ 
steered  ;  A  B  the  course  actually  \ 
run ;   and   the    distance    between 
these,  viz.,   B  C,  is  the  lee  way. 
Lee  way  must  always  be  calculated 
upon   when    sailing   with  a  side                           Fig.  3. 
wind,  with  a  lee-tide,  or  with  the 

tide  under  the  lee.  Naturally  with  a  lee- tide  there  will  be  very  much 
more  lee-way  made  than  if  the  tide  be  under  the  lee  ;  and  this  will 
become  very  apparent  to  the  beginner  as  soon  as  he  takes  the  tiller 
in  hand.  Very  much  more 
lee-way  will  also  be 
made  by  flat  -  bottomed 
vessels  such  as  barges, 
than  by  those  having  deep 
keels  or  centreboards  which 
present  a  wide  surface  to 
oppose  a  current.  To  coun- 
teract this  tendency  to 
lee- way,  therefore,  such 
flat-bottomed  vessels  are 
furnished  with  : — 

Lee-boards  (fig.  4),  which 
are  flat  boards  let  down  on  Fig.  4. 


A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  155 

either  side  of  a  wall-sided  vessel,  such  as  a  barge  or  ketch,  and 
serving  in  the  place  of  a  keel.  There  is  one  on  each  side  of  the 
vessel,  and  that  one  on  the  lee  side  is  lowered  when  sailing,  the 
pressure  of  the  water  keeping  it  in  place. 

Lee-helm. — The  tendency  of  a  vessel  to  run  away  from  the  wind 
when  sailing,  therefore  necessitating  that  the  helm  be  kept  a'lee. 
The  term  is  more  fully  explained  under  the  heading  Helm. 

All  these  terms  are  in  daily  use  among  seafaring  and  yachting 
men,  and  should  be  thoroughly  understood  by  the  beginner. 

Lee-gage. — The  distance  to  leeward  of  any  given  object,  in  con- 
tradistinction to  weather-gage  (which  see). 

Lee-fanges. — "Ropes  reeved  into  cringles  of  sails  to  haul  down 
those  parts  of  such  sails." 

Lee-hatch. — A  cant  phrase,  as  "  Keep  off  the  lee  hatch, "  which 
means,  "  Do  not  let  the  vessel  make  more  lee-way  than  can  be 

'  Lee  ho!" — Equivalent  to  "'Bout  ho!"  A  shout  of  warning 
given  by  a  helmsman  to  those  in  his  boat,  that  he  is  going  to  put 
about.  Upon  hearing  this  warning,  all  those  on  board  will  do  well 
to  lower  their  heads,  or  by  some  other  means  to  get  out  of  the  way 
of  the  boom  as  it  swings  over. 

Lee  runners.  —  Another  name  for  those  backstays  which  are 
slackened  as  sails  go  over.  They  are  called  lee  runners  because  it 
is  those  on  the  /ee-side  which  have  to  run  or  be  loosed. 

Leech  (meaning  "  lee-edge "). — The  aftermost  (back-most)  or 
lee  margin  of  a  sail.  This  definition  will  apply  equally  to  all  sails  ; 
but  there  is  this  difference  to  be  noted  between  those  of  the  square 
rig  and  those  of  the  fore-and-aft,  viz.,  as  square  sails  change  their 
positions  constantly,  there  can  be  no  such  thing  as  a  permanent 
after  edge,  while,  if  they  are  set  with  the  wind  directly  aft,  the 
edges  of  each  side  are,  theoretically,  in  the  same  position.  But 
in  fore-and-aft  rig  such  is  not  the  case  :  the  edge  of  the  mainsail 
nearest  the  mast,  for  instance,  is  always  the  foremost  edge  of  the 
sail,  and  is  permanently,  therefore,  the  luff;  and  for  the  same  reason 
the  edge  of  the  sail  away  from  the  mast  is  always  the  leech.  Either 
side  of  a  square  sail,  on  the  other  hand,  is  the  luff  when  it  is  the 
weather  edge,  and  the  leech  when  it  is  the  lee  edge. 

Leech  lines. — In  square  rig,  lines  from  the  leeches,  or  edges  of  a 
square  sail,  on  either  side,  to  blocks  hung  on  the  yard  at  the  other 
side  of  the  sail :  they  therefore  cross  each  other.  Leech  lines  brail 
up  the  sails. 

Leech  rope. — The  bolt-rope  running  along  the  leech  of  a  sail. 

Leg. — 1.  Roughly  speaking,  when  a  rope  resolves  itself  into 
two  or  more  parts  it  is  said  to  have  legs.  Thus,  the  topmast 
shrouds  in  a  yacht  continue  only  a  little  below  the  cross-trees. 
The  reason  for  this  is  that  when  the  top-mast  is  housed  (lowered 
for  a  time)  its  shrouds  may  be  only  of  such  a  length  as  to  lie 
conveniently  secured  close  to  the  main  shrouds.  For  were  they  so 
long  as  to  reach  the  deck  when  the  mast  was  elevated  there  would 



be  difficulty  in  stowing  away  so  much  wire-roping 
when  the  mast  was  down.  It  is  evident,  however, 
that  when  the  topmast  is  raised,  its  shrouds  must 
he  set  up  (tightened)  by  some  means  or  other  ;  and 
the  most  convenient  method  of  accomplishing 
this  is  to  fix  a  block  at  the  end  of  the  shrouds, 
through  which  block  a  line,  or  hempen  rope,  is 
rove,  so  that  when  it  is  hauled  upon,  the  shrouds 
are  tightened,  and  when  the  mast  is  struck,  this 
tackle  may  be  unshackled  and  stowed  away  in  a 
convenient  place.  This  rope,  then,  is  called  the 
legs.     (See  fig.) 

But  at  sea,  almost  any  rope  which  branches  out 
in  more  than  one  direction  is  said,  as  above  men- 
tioned, to  have  legs.  Thus  the  bowlines  of  square 
sails  branch  out  into  several  legs,  each  leg  being 
attached  to  the  leech  of  the  sail  at  a  different 
point,  so  that  the  sail  may  be  held,  as  it  were,  by 
several  ropes,  and  perfectly  flat  :  these  brandies 
are  the  bowline  legs.  So  also  are  bunt  lines  often 
divided  into  various  legs  called  the  bunt-line-legs. 

2.  Legs  are  also  wooden  beams  which  support 
a  boat  in  an  upright  position  when  she  lies  high 
and  dry. 

"  To  have  her  legs  on." — An  expression  often  used  of  a  boat  when 
she  sails  fast. 

Long-legged. — Said  of  a  vessel  when  she  draws  a  great  depth  of 
water,  and  would,  therefore,  require  very  long  legs  to  support  her 
high  and  dry. 

3.  Leg-of-mutton  sail  (sometimes  called  shoulder- of -mutton  sail). — 
A  triangular  main  sail  sometimes  used  in  small  boats ;  and  occasionally 
as  a  trysail  in  small  yachts.  It  is  an  adaptation  from  the  Mudian 
rig  {which  see),  and  derives  its  name  from  its  shape,  which  is  supposed 
to  resemble  a  leg  or  shoulder  of  mutton. 

Length. — There  are  two  measures  of  length  to  a  boat ;  1st. 
Length  on  the  water  line ;  2nd.  Length  over  all,  which  is  her  entire 
length  from  stem  to  stern. 

Let. — Let  draw  (spoken  of  sails). — To  let  the  jib  or  foresail 
go  over,  as  a  boat  goes  about.     {See  under  Jib  and  Foresail.) 

Let  go. — -To  slacken  away  a  rope,  or  let  it  go  altogether. 

Let  out  a  reef. — To  increase  the  area  of  a  sail  which  has  been 
reefed  by  loosening  the  reef  points,  and  letting  the  confined  (or 
reefed)  part  of  the  sail  go. 

Liabilities. — It  is  with  a  boat  as  with  a  house  ;  and,  indeed,  the 
liabilities  are  greater  on  the  boat.  All  money  owing  on  a  boat,  all 
dues  or  claims  upon  her,  pass  over,  when  she  changes  hands,  to  the 
new  owner.  Purchasers  of  second-hand  craft  will  be  wise,  therefore, 
to  satisfy  themselves  before  completing  a  contract  that  the  property  is 
free  :  and  it  is  always  well  to  have  a  written  guarantee  to  this  effect. 

A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEEMS.  157 

Liberty. — Leave  to  go  ashore. 

Liberty-men. — Those  belonging  to  a  ship's  company  who  are 
ashore  on  leave. 

Lie. — Lie  by. — To  be  waiting,  or  put  by  for  a  time. 

Lie  over. — To  be  heeled  or  careened  over,  as  a  boat,  when  sailing 
under  press  of  canvas,  lies  over. 

Lie  within  4  points,  &  points,  etc. — (See  under  SAILING.) 

Lie  on  the  oars. — To  pause  in  rowing  :  the  same  as  lay  on  one's 
oars  (which  see). 

Lie  to  (in  sailing). — To  remain  without  motion.     (See  Lay  to.) 

Life. — Lifeboat. — The  principle  of  the  lifeboat  as  now  used 
by  the  Royal  National  Lifeboat  Institution  is  as  follows.  The  boat 
is  about  30ft.  long  with  8ft.  beam,  nearly  flat  bottomed  and 
weighted  with  a  heavy  keel.  It  is  propelled  by  eight  or  twelve  oars, 
rowed  double-banked  ;  but  is  also  rigged  with  two  masts  carrying 
working-lug  and  mizzen  and  fore-sails.  Occasionally,  though  rarely,  it 
is  furnished  with  a  steam  engine  and  propeller.  The  bow  and  stern 
rise  about  2ft.  above  the  main  portion,  forming  air-tight  chambers  : 
compartments  also  run  all  round  just  below  the  gunwales.  The 
boat  has  a  false  bottom 
raised  above  the  water 
line,  the  space  between 
this  and  the  bottom 
being  packed  with  cork; 
and  through  this  space 
run  several  valves,  being 
open    tubes   through 

which,  should  a  sea  fill  the  boat,  her  false  bottom  being  above  water 
bine,  the  water  is  immediately  discharged.  Thus  the  boat  is  unsinkable 
and  almost  uncapuzable  ;  and  should  she  capuze  must  quickly  right 
herself.  An  efficient  lifeboat  is  held  capable  of  carrying  one  adult 
person  to  every  10  cubic  feet  of  capacity ;  to  which  capacity  she  must 
also  have  l£ft.  of  air-tight  compartments.  Lifeboats  are  kept  up 
entirely  by  voluntary  contributions.  The  Institution  is,  conse- 
cpiently,  always  in  want  of  funds  and  support.  The  number  of 
lives  it  saves  annually  may  be  counted  in  hundreds.  Lifeboats  are 
manned  by  volunteers  ;  but  only  experienced  men  are  chosen  unless 
there  be  a  lack  of  numbers.  They  are  paid  for  work  by  day  10s., 
by  night  £1  ;  day  and  night  being  counted  from  12  o'clock  to  12 

Lifeboat  cutter  (in  the  Royal  Navy). — A  long  gig  (from  23ft.  to 
28ft.),  propelled  by  six  or  eight  oars,  for  the  use  of  superior  officers. 

Life-buoy,  life-belt,  life-jacket. — Any  apparatus  which  is  suffi- 
ciently buoyant  to  support  a  man  in  the  water  may  be  called  a  life- 
buoy. The  use  and  appearance  of  life-buoys  are  well  known ;  it 
cannot  be  too  strongly  urged  that  they  be  always  kept  handy,  whether 
in  boats  or  along  shore.  Besides  the  ordinary  Kisbie's  (zone  shaped ) 
buoys  of  canvas-covered  cork,  there  are  various  kinds,  the  most  con- 
venient and  portable  being  perhaps  those  which  are  blown  out  and 



tied  round  the  body  under  the  arms.  Everyone 
learning  to  sail  should  wear  one  of  these  :  their 
cost  is  from  5s.  to  10s. ,  and  they  may  be  ohtained 
from  almost  any  indiarabber  warehouse.  The 
Board  of  Trade,  however,  recognises  no  contri- 
vance that  requires  inflation  as  a  life-jacket. 
According  to  its  regulations  every  jacket  or 
belt  supplied  to  ships'  boats  (and  there  shall  be 
one  to  each  oarsman  and  one  to  the  coxswain) 
must  float  for  24  hours  with  a  weight  of  231bs. 
upon  it,  and  must  weigh  only  5lbs.  when  dry. 
That  shown  in  the  figure  is  the  one  employed 
by  the  Admiralty.  Buoys  must  be  of  cork  and 
capable  of  bearing  321bs.  of  iron  for  24  hours, 
or  if  not  of  cork  the  weight  to  be  borne  is 
increased  to  40lbs. 

To  use  a  life-buoy. — Keep  as  low  as  possible 
in  it :  a  person  endeavouring  to  raise  the  body 
oixt  of  the  water  by  the  life-buoy  is  in  danger 
of  being  turned  over. 

To  throw  a  life-buoy. — It  should  be  thrown 
flat,  as  a  quoit  is  pitched.  This  must  be  done  with 
judgment  and  coolness  ;  and  if  a  person  fall  over- 
board from  the  fore  end  of  a  vessel,  the  life-buoy 
must  be  carried  aft  before  being  thrown. 

Life-line. — 1.  Any  rope  stretched  along  part 
of  a  vessel  to  prevent  a  person  from  falling 
overboard.  2.  Any  rope  for  throwing  to 
a  drowning  person.  Such  ropes  are  always 
kept  in  readiness  at  the  various  stations  of 
the  Royal  Humane  Society. 

Life-saving. — 1.  Rocket  apparatus. — Instruc- 
tions issued  by  the  Board  of  Trade  for  the  Inflated  Life-Belt 
guidance  of  masters  and  seamen  when  using  the  rocket  apparatus 
for  saving  life,  may  be  obtained  by  any  person  at  any  mercantile 
marine  office,  free  of  charge.  They  are  also  published  in  Lloyd's 
"  Seamen's  Almanac."     (See  under  Rocket.) 

2.  Restoration  of  the  apparently 
drowned.    [See  under  Drowned.) 

Lifts. — In  square  rigged  ships,  ropes 
passing  through  blocks  at  the  mast- 
heads, taking  the  weight  of  the  yards, 
and  enabling  them  to  be  trimmed.  In 
some  vessels  they  also  act  as  sheets  for 
the  sails  above.  "  The  yards  are  said 
to  be  squared  by  the  lilts  when  they 
hang  at  right  angles  with  the  mast,  i.e., 
parallel  with  the  horizon  when  the 
vessel  is  upright  in  the  water. "  Lifts. 

A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  159 

Topping  lift. — A  rope  passing  through  a  hlock  at  the  mast-head 
and  down  to  the  guy  end  of  a  boom,  to  enable  it  to  be  topped 
(lifted)  when  reefing,  tricing,  etc.     (See  Top.) 

Light. — A  vessel  is  said  to  be  "light"  when  she  is  without  cargo, 
and  consequently  high  out  of  water. 

To  light  is  a  term  sometimes  used  by  sailors  instead  of  to  help ; 
as  "  Light  along  that  rope.  " 

Light  sails. — In  square  rigged  ships,  the  flying  /cites;  i.e.,  as  a 
rule,  the  sky  sails  and  their  accompanying  studding  sails.  But 
there  were  extraordinary  occasions  when  some  of  the  old  bine- 
ships  and  East  Indiamen  could  set  no  less  than  three  sets  of  square 
sails  above  the  royals;  viz. — the  sky  sails,  the  moon  rakers,  and 
the  jumpers  (or  jolly  jumpers).  A  ship  thus  equipped  and  with 
her  six  jibs  was  literally  under  every  stitch  of  canvas,  even  to  the 
last  pocket-handkerchief. 

Lights. — The  rules  for  lights  to  be  carried  and  exposed  by  ships  at 
sea  come  under  the  "  Regulations  for  Preventing  Collisions  at  Sea," 
Articles  2  to  11.  From  these  we  may  deduce  the  following.  [See  fig. 
page  160.)  Art.  3. — A  steamship  under  weigh  exposes,  on  the  star- 
board side  a  green  light ;  on  the  port  side  a  red  light ;  on  the  mast 
(about  20  ft.  up)  a  white  light.  Art.  4. — A  tug,  or  a  steamship 
towing  another  vessel. — On  the  mast  2  white  lights  (one  under  the 
other);  the  starboard  and  port-bights  as  above.  Art.  5. — A  vessel 
not  under  command  (i.  e. ,  which  cannot  get  out  of  the  way) ,  on  the 
mast  (about  20  ft.  up)  3  red  lights  (one  above  the  other),  or  if  it 
be  a  vessel  laying  or  picking  up  a  cable,  2  red  lights  and  1  white  one 
(the  white  one  in  the  middle),  one  above  the  other  ;  and  by  day — 
3  black  balls,  or  shapes,  in  the  same  position.  Art.  0. — A  sailing  ship 
under  way,  or  being  towed,  on  starboard  side  green,  on  port  side  red, 
that  is,  side  lights  just  the  same  as  the  steamers ;  but  never  a  mast 
light  unless  at  anchor.  Art.  7. — "  Whenever,  as  in  the  case  of  small 
vessels  during  bad  weather,  the  green  and  red  lights  cannot  be  fixed, 
these  lights  shall  be  kept  on  deck,  on  their  respective  sides  of  the 
vessel,  ready  for  use ;  and  shall,  on  the  approach  of  or  to  other 
vessels,  be  exliibited  on  their  respective  sides  in  sufficient  time  to 
prevent  collision,  in  such  manner  as  to  make  them  most  visible,  and 
so  that  the  green  bight  shall  not  be  seen  on  the  port-side,  nor  the 
red  bight  on  the  starboard  side."  Art.  8. — All  and  any  vessels  at 
anchor  expose  2  white  light  (not  more  than  20  ft.  above  the  hull), 
called  the  riding  light.  Art.  9. — A  pilot  vessel  engaged  on  her 
station,  1  white  light  at  the  masthead,  and  flare-up  bights  at  short, 
intervals.  Art.  10. — A  vessel  engaged  in  fishing,  2  white  lights, 
between  5  and  10  ft.  apart,  one  only  a  little  lower  than  the  other, 
the  lower  being  the  foremost.  Art.  11. — A  ship  which  is  being  over- 
taken by  another  shall  sIkjw  from  her  stem  to  such  last  mentioned 
ship  a  white  light  or  a  flare-up  light.  A  dredging  hulk  in  a  channel 
shows  3  white  lights  in  the  form  of  a  triangle.  The  diagram  illus- 
trating the  meeting  of  vessels,  end  on,  may  be  found  useful.  Here 
the  port  and  starboard  sides  will,  of  course,  appear  to  be  reversed^ 

160  A    DICTIONAKY    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

Lighthouse.  —  A   tower  exhibiting  a  powerful  light  at  its  head 


— a  landmark  by  day  and  by  night,  for  which  reason  they  are  of 
various  forms.     {See  figs. )     In  ancient  times  a  lighthouse  (that  of 



Stone  Lighthouse. 

Pharos)  became  one  of  the  wonders 
of  the  world.  The  appearances  of 
lights  are  varied  so  that  navigators 
may  know  the  coast  they  are  ap- 
proaching. This  is  done  princi- 
pally by  varying  the  intervals 
between  the  appearance  of  the 
light;  by  the  exposition  of  two 
or  more  lights ;  and  sometimes  by 
exhibiting  a  red  light,  the  only 
colour  which  can  be  used,  all 
others  absorbing  too  many  rays 
to  be  of  general  service  at  sea. 
There  are,  nevertheless,  certain 
exceptions  to  this  rule  :  the  Mouse 
Light,  for  instance,  in  the  Thames 
Estuary,  is  green. 

A  revolving  light  is  one  in  which 
there  is  a  stated  interval  between 
each  appearance.  A  flash  light  is 
that  in  which  the  flashes  follow  so 
quickly  as  to  give  almost  the  appear- 
ance of  scintillations.  An  intermit- 
tent light  is  a  fixed  light  suddenly 
eclipsed  and  as  suddenly  revealed, 
its  appearance  being  quite  unlike 
that  of  the  revolving  light. 

Light  ship. — A  light  ship  may 
be    called    a    floating    lighthouse 

securely  moored  on  the  margin  of  some  dangerous  rock  or  sand. 
These  ships  are  of  peculiar  form,  and  easily  recognized.  They 
usually  expose  revolving  lights. 

Lighter.—  A 
powerful  hull  or 
barge,  flat  bottomed, 
for  transporting  heavy 
goods  ashore  or  up 
rivers.  They  are  ex- 
tremely common  on 
the  London  river, 
where  they  may  daily  be  seen  dropping  either  up  or  down  with  the  tide, 
being  steered  through  the  bridges  by  long  sweeps  (or  oars. )     (See  fig. ) 

Ligsam. — Another  name  for  lagan  (ivhich  see). 

Limbers. — Apertures  in  almost  any  part  of  a  vessel,  such  as 
the  flat  floors  or  through  coamings,  which  are  put  there  for  the 
purpose  of  allowing  water  to  run  away  through  them.  But  when 
the  word  "  limbers  "  is  used  without  further  distinction,  it  is  usually 
understood  to  mean  the  apertures  through  the  flat-floor  beams,  at 


Pile  Lighthouse. 

Thames  Lighters. 

162  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

the  lowest  part  of  the  hull.  The  limbers  of  a  ship  may  therefore 
be  called  her  main  drains.  They  are  gutters  along  her  keelson,  and 
receive  her  bilge-water.     (See  diagram  under  FRAME.) 

Limber  boards. — Short  pieces  of  planking  forming  part  of  a 
vessel's  lining,  and  usually  capable  of  removal,  so  that  the  limbers 
may  be  cleared.     (See  Frame.  ) 

Limber  kentledge.  (See  Kentledge.) 

Limber  passage. — The  passage  on  each  side  of  the  keelson. 

Limber  st?-a/ces  (in  shipbuilding)  are  the  planks  running  along 
the  lowest  part  of  a  vessel. 

Linchpin. — A  small  iron  pin  passing  through  some  shaft 
axle  or  bar,  such  as  the  stock  of  an  anchor.  It  is  also  sometimes 
called  a  forelock. 

Line. — A  small  rope  :  as  bunt  lines,  clew  lines,  tricing  lines,  the 
lead  line,  etc. 

The  line. — At  sea  the  Equator  is  called  the  line.  In  the  old  days 
of  sailing  ships  great  festivities  took  place  on  crossing  the  line,  and 
a  sailor  was  not  considered  a  landsman  until  he  had,  so  to  speak,  re- 
ceived the  freedom  of  the  sea  by  an  initiation,  at  this  time,  which, 
from  all  accounts,  appears  to  have  been  more  enjoyable  for  the 
onlooker  than  for  the  principal  performer.  The  practice  is  still 
kept  up  to  a  minor  extent,  but  is  gradually  dying  out. 

A  line  of  ships. — Originally  a  fleet  entered  into  battle  in  lines  : 
there  were  the  front  line,  the  inner  line,  etc. ;  and  hence  a  company 
of  ships  came  to  be  known  as  a  line.  Tins  then  is  the  origin  of 
the  word  as  used  by  a  firm  which  owns  a  ' '  company "  of  ships, 
and  therefore  calls  itself  a  line.  Hence,  also,  we  have  the  name 
liner,  originally  a  battleship  of  the  line ;  to-day  one  of  the  ships 
belonging  to  a  line. 

To  line. — To  lay  one  piece  of  anything  over  or  inside  another. 
Hence  lining  in  ship-building — the  inside  planking  of  a  vessel  within 
her  ribs.  But  in  those  boats  which  are  built  with  a  double  plank- 
ing, one  immediately  over  the  other,  both  outside  the  ribs,  the 
usual  lining  is  often  absent ;  and  here  the  inner  planking  is  called 
the  lining  or  case','-  the  outer  one  being  the  skin.  (Sec  diagrams 
under  FRAME.)  In  the  lining  of  a  vessel  the  planks  usually 
have  a  space  between  them  to  allow  a  free  circulation  of  air : 
when,  however,  they  are  fitted  close  up  it  is  called  close-lining. 
Old  yachts,  and  especially  those  for  sale,  may  sometimes  be.  found 
"  close- lined  "  :  this  may  very  possibly  have  been  done  to  liide 
defective  ribs,  a  fact  which  should  be  borne  in  mind  by  purchasers. 
In  sailing  boats  of  the  better  class,  lining  is  often  dispensed  with 
altogether,  as  it  is  in  almost  every  case  with  row  boats. 

Lines  (in  marine  architecture).  —  The  drawings  of  the  form  or 
shape  of  an  intended  vessel.  These  drawings  are  three  in  number  : 
1.  The  sheer  plan  ;  2.  the  half -breadth  plan  ;  3.  the  body-plan.  The 
sheer  plan  is  the  side  view  on  which  are  laid  off  the  length,  heights 
of  all  parts  from  the  keel,  etc.  The  half-breadth  plan  shows  the 
horizontal  or  floor  plan  on  any  water  line.     The  body  plan  is  the 




The  Lines  of  a  Yacht. 

end  view  showing  the  curves  of  the  sides  at  any  point  in  her  length  ; 
"  and  since  the  two  sides  are  exactly  alike,  the  left  half  represents 
the  vertical  sections  in  the  after  part  of  the  body,  and  the  right 
half  those  in  the  fore 
part,"  or  vice  versa. 
Thus,  lines  running 
parallel  to  the  surface 
of  the  water  (such  as 
the  water  bines)  appear 
as  straight  bines  paral- 
lel to  the  keel  in  the 
sheer  plan ;  as  straight 
bines  at  right  angles  to 
the  keel  in  the  body- 
plan,  and  as  curved 
bines  on  the  half- 
breadth  plan.  The 
delineation  of  vessels 
intended  for  speed, 
as  racing  yachts  and 
boats,  is  one  of  the 
most  occult  branches 
of  marine  architec- 
ture ;  for  it  rests  neither  altogether  upon  mathematical  rules,  nor 
upon  the  rule-of-thumb,  and  is  always  subservient  to  the  method 
of  rating  which  may,  at  the  time,  be  in  vogue. 

Lines  of  flotation. — Water  lines  ;  horizontal  in  the  sheer-plan,  etc. 

Load  water  line. — The  bine  of  deepest  immersion  of  a  ship. — i.e., 
when  she  is  loaded. 

Buttock  line. — A  vertical  section  taken  longitudinally  along  the 
boat.  (See  diagrams).  It  gives  the  form  of  the  buttock,  and  of  the 
run  (both  of  which  see). 

Concluding  line. — A  bine  hitched  to  eveiy  step  down  the  middle  of 
a  rope  ladder. 

Deep-sea  line. — The  sounding  bine  for  use  in  great  depth. 

Hand  line. — The  bine  for  shallow  sounding  (see  Lead). 

Life  line. — A  rope  extended  in  various  positions  about  a  ship  for 
people  to  lay  hold  of.  Also  a  rope  thrown  to  any  person  who 
may  fall  overboard.      (See  under  Life.) 

Lubber's  line. — (See  under  Lubber.) 

Mar-line. — Small  bine,  of  two  strands,  used  in  marling  (ichich 

Naval  line. — A  rope,  in  square  rigged  vessels,  which  assists  in 
bracing  yards  up  for  sailing  on  a  wind.    ' 

Ratlines. — The  steps  of  a  rope  ladder.     (See  Ratlinks.  ) 

Spilling  line. — In  square  rig,  a  rope  of  occasional  use  for  reefing 
or  furling  sails,  "  spilling  "  being  to  reduce  a  sail. 

Tarred  line. — A  rope  painted  with  or  dipped  in  tar,  in  contra- 
distinction to  a  white  line — one  not  tarred. 

M  2 

164  A    DICTION AEY    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

Link. — One  of  the  component  members  of  a  chain,  of  which 
there  are  various  patterns,  as  stud  link,  close-link,  open-link,  etc. 
(-See  Chain.) 

Link-worming. — In  the  days  of  hempen  cables,  a  method  of  worm- 
ing cables  with  chain  so  that  they  should  not  chafe  in  the  hawse 

Lipper  (leaper?). — A  sea  which  washes  over  the  bows  of  a  vessel. 
Also  the  spray  from  a  small  sea. 

List  (sometimes  pronounced  by  the  fishermen  "lust"). — An 
inclination.  Thus  a  vessel  may  be  said  to  take  "a  hist  over  to 
starboard  "  or  to  port. 

Listing  (in  shipbuilding  and  repairing). — The  cutting  out  of  the 
edge  of  a  plank  in  a  ship's  side,  so  as  to  expose  the  timber  (rib) 
beneath  it. 

Lizard. — 1.  An  iron  ring  spliced  into  a  rope  end.  It  is  usually 
called  a  thimble  or  eye.  2.  A  parrel  is  also  sometimes  called  a 
lizard,  or  yard  guide. 

Lloyd's. — The  well-known  institution  called  Lloyd's  has  been  in 
existence  since  the  year  1716.  Its  name  is  derived  from  a  coffee 
house  kept  by  one  Lloyd,  to  which  all  interested  in  shipping  matters 
resorted.  From  thence  it  was  removed,  and  eventually  located  in 
the  new  Royal  Exchange.  Besides  undertaking  all  matters  of 
insurance  through  its  members,  it  publishes,  periodically,  a  volu- 
minous inventory  of  shipping  intelligence,  known  as  Lloyd's  List, 
the  importance  of  which,  in  the  mercantile  world,  cannot  be  over- 
rated. For  a  short  history  of  Lloyd's,  see  Lloyd's  "  Seamen's 
Almanac,  1897." 

Load  line,  or  load  water  line. — In  the  lines  of  a  ship,  the 
supposed  line  of  deepest  immersion — i.e.,  when  loaded.  (See  Lines.) 
It  is,  in  fact,  the  ship's  proper  displacement. 

Loadstone. — {See  Lodestone.) 

Loafer. — A  name  given  to  a  man  who  hangs  about  by  the  water- 
side, either  to  pick  up  a  job,  or,  if  occasion  prompt,  to  pick  up 
anything  else.  They  are  sometimes  called  "shore  rakers"  ;  possibly 
from  "raking  the  shore."  It  is  not  advisable  to  employ  such  men 
where  watermen  or  fishermen  can  possibly  be  obtained. 

A  'long-shwe  loafer  is  one  who  loafs  along  the  shore,  though  the 
name  is  sometimes  given  to  those  who  fish  or  find  other  honest 
employment  along  shore ;  these  are  not  to  be  included  in  the  same 
category  as  the  loafers  above  mentioned. 

Loch. — A  word  of  Gaelic  origin.  A  lake  or  an  arm  of  the  sea  in 
North  Britain  or  Ireland. 

Lock. — "  In  internal  navigation,  the  part  of  a  canal  included 
between  two  floodgates,  by  means  of  which  a  vessel  is  transferred 
from  a  higher  to  a  lower  level,  or  from  a  lower  to  a  higher.  It  is  also 
applied  to  the  contrivance  by  which  vessels  are  maintained  at  the 
level  of  high  tides  in  harbours  exposed  to  variations  of  level." 
(Brande  and  Cox.) 



Locker. — A  compartment  on  board  a  boat,  for  the  stowage  of 
anything.  Small  cupboards  are  called  lockers,  as  well  as  the  com- 
partments iuto  which  the  chain  drops,  and  that  in  which  ropes, 
small  sails,  and  such  like  necessities  are  stored. 

Davy  Jones'  locker. — The  bottom  of  the  sea. 

Lodestone. — "  The  name  given  to  magnetic  iron  ore  when 
endowed  with  magnetic  polarity ;  in  which  case  it  constitutes  the 
native  magnet  or  lodestone."  It  is  this  with  which  the  needle  of 
the  mariners'  compass  is  rubbed  to  enable  it  always  to  point 
towards  the  north. 

Lodging  knees. — In  ship-building,  deck-beam  knees.  (See 

Log. — The  instrument  used  to  measure  the  rate  of  a  vessel's 
velocity  through  the  water.  The  most  primitive  manner  of  calcu- 
lating this  velocity  appears  to  have  been  for  a  person 
to  heave  the  log  over  the  bow  of  the  vessel,  and  to  "~,ui,o4 n 
run  with  it  until  he  reached  the  poop,  the  speed  at 
which  he  ran  forming  the  basis  upon  which  the  ship's 
speed  was  reckoned  ;  and  it  is  said  that  Avonderfully 
accurate  results  were  obtained  by  this  rough  method. 
Until  recent  years,  the  log  consisted  of  a  piece  of 
wood  in  the  form  usually  of  the  quadrant  of  a  circle 
about  oin.  or6in.  in  radius,  and  a  quarter  of  an  inch 
thick,  and  so  balanced,  by  a  leaden  weight,  as  to 
float  perpendicularly  almost  immersed  in  the  water. 
This  was  called  the  "  ship,"  and  was  fastened  to  one 
end  of  a  long  line  called  the  log  line,  the  other  end 
being  wound  on  a  reel,  placed  in  the  stern  part  of 
the  vessel.  The  "  ship  "  being  heaved,  or  thrown 
into  the  water,  theoretically  kept  its  place  while  the 
line  ran  off  the  reel  as  the  ship  moved,  the  length 
unwinding  in  a  given  time  giving  the  rate  of  sailing. 
This  was  calculated  by  knots  made  on  the  line  at 
regular  intervals  and  a  sand  glass  which  ran  a  certain 
number  of  seconds.  "  In  order  to  avoid  calculation, 
the  length  l)etween  these  knots  was  so  proportioned 
to  the  time  of  the  glass  that  the  number  of  knots 
unwound  wlule  the  glass  ran  down  should  be  the 
number  of  miles  the  vessel  was  sailing  per  hour. " 
This,  then,  is  the  origin  of  the  knot — the  nautical 
mile.  The  log  being  heaved  at  certain  times  in  each 
watch,  the  particulars  were  entered  in  the  vessel's 
book,  which  was  therefore  called  the  log  book  or  log, 
and  which  contained,  besides,  all  details  relating  to 
whatever  transpired  during  a  voyage.  The  log-book 
still  exists.  But  the  system  just  noticed  being  sub- 
ject to  considerable  contingencies,  such  as  currents,  etc.,  is  now 
being  superseded  by  various  forms  of  self-registering  rotators,  which 


166  A    DICTIONAEY    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

give  the  actual  speed  of  the  vessel  much  more  accurately.  Such 
are  Bliss's  Patent  American  Taffrail  Log  and  many  others  which, 
being  dropped  over  the  ship's  stem,  are  left  there  permanently,  and, 
while  continuing  to  revolve  with  a  speed  proportionate  to  that  of 
the  ship,  may  be  read  at  any  time. 

Log  boards. — Boards  placed  together,  and  opening  like  the  leaves 
of  a  book,  \ised  in  old  ships  upon  which  to  enter  the  records  of  the 
ship  each  day  ;  from  whence  it  was  copied  into  the  log  book. 

Log  b)ok. — The  ship's  journal.  Everything,  including  the  dis- 
tance the  ship  has  made,  her  position,  and  anything  winch  may 
have  happened  on  board,  is  entered  therein.  For  a  person  to  be 
entered  in  the  log  book  is  called  being  logged,  and,  if  for  offence, 
is  a  serious  matter. 

Log  wood. — A  dye-wood  from  America. 

Long.  — Long 
bxit. — A  strong 
row  -  boat     pro-    , 
pelled   by   eight 
or  ten  oars,  some-  .         „. 

times     double  Longboat. 

binked.     The  largest  row-boat  carried  by  a  ship. 

Long  gaskets. — Gaskets  used  at  sea,  in  contradistinction  to  those 
used  in  harbour.     {See  Gaskets  and  Harbour  Gaskets.) 

Long-jawed. — Rope  which  has,  by  much  wear  and  strain,  become 
such  that  the  strands  are  straightened  out,  enabling  it  to  coil  both 

Long  timbers. — In  ship- building,  timbers  rising  from  the  dead 
woods  and  running  upwards  in  one  piece,  instead  of  being  made  up 
of  several  futtocks.     (See  Frame.) 

Long-legged. — Said  of  a  vessel  when  she  draws  a  great  depth  of 

Long-shore  (along  shore). — A  'long-shore  man  is  one  who  pursues 
his  vocation  along  the  shore,  in  contradistinction  to  those  whose 
business  takes  them  some  distance  from  the  shore  ;  such  are  water- 
men or  boatmen  and  the  like,  as  opposed  to  seamen  or  fishermen. 
'Long-shore  men  are,  however,  often  very  good  sailors. 

Longitude. — Distance  east  or  west  of  a  first  meridian,  ex- 
pressed in  degrees.  Our  first  meridian  is  that  which  passes  through 

Loo. — A  pronunciation  of  the  word  lee  (which  see),  as  in 
"  loo-ard  "   for   "leeward." 

Loof. — 1.   The  old  name  for  luff  (which  see). 

2.  (Of  a  ship. )  That  portion  under  the  bows  of  a  vessel  which 
curves  inwards  towards  the  stem. 

3..  To  loof. — To  be  in  a  certain  direction,  as  a  plank  "  loofs  fore- 
and-aft,"  etc. 

Look-out. — The  attention  of  a  steersman,  in  whatsoever  craft, 
should  never,  under  any  circumstances,  be  taken  off  his  work  ;  and 

A   DICTIONAKY    OF   SEA    TERMS.  167 

at  the  same  time  it  is  always  well  for  all  on  board  to  keep  a  good 
look  out. 

Loom. — 1.  (Of  an  oar.)  That  part  from  the  leather,  or  fulcrum, 
to  the  grip,  or  handle.     (See  Oak.  ) 

2.  An  object  is  said  to  loom  or  loom  up,  when,  under  certain 
states  of  the  atmosphere,  as  in  fogs  and  occasionally  towards  evening, 
it  appears  larger  than  we  suppose  it  to  be.  Probably  the  absence 
of  the  detail  with  which  we  are  familiar  gives  a  breadth  to  the 
object  to  whicli  we  are  not  accustomed ;  it  must  be  remembered,  too, 
that  we  see  objects  under  such  circumstances  from  a  much  shorter 
distance  than  usual. 

3.  Loom  gale. — An  easy  gale,  in  whicli  topsails  may  be  carried. 
Loose. — To  loose  a  rope. — To  let  it  go. 

To  loose  a  sail. — To  unfurl  or  set  it. 

To  loose  for  sea. — To  unfurl  and  make  sail  for  going  out. 

Lop. — To  lop  over  is  to  lay  over  suddenly. 

Lord  Warden  of  the  Cinque  Ports.— The  chief  magistrate 
or  lord  of  the  Cinque  Ports.  The  position  is  usually  held  by  some 
person  of  distinction,  and  often  by  a  minister,  or  an  ex-minister. 

Lose  way,  or  lose  ground. — To  make  lee  way  ;  to  drift,  etc. 

Loss. — In  insurance  "  total  loss  is  the  insurance  recovered 
under  peril,  according  to  the  invoice  price  of  the  goods  when  em- 
barked, together  with  the  premium  of  insurance.  Partial  loss  upon 
either  ship  or  goods,  is  that  proportion  of  the  prime  cost  whicli  is 
equal  to  the  diminution  in  value  occasioned  by  the  damage." 

Lost  (of  a  ship). — "Wrecked,  foundered  or  cast  away. 

Lost  day. — The  day  which  is  lost  in  circumnavigating  the  globe 
to  westward. 

Lon. — A  Little  bill  or  mound.  Also  a  pronunciation  of  the  word 
lee  (which  see),  as  in  "  lou-ard  "  for  "  leeward. " 

Low. — "  Under  low  sails." — A  ship  is  sometimes  spoken  of  as 
such  when  sailing  under  her  courses  and  close-reefed  topsails  only. 

Lower. — To  let  down. 

Lower  cheerily. — To  lower  expeditiously. 

Loiver  handsomely. — To  lower  gradually. 

Lotoer  topsail,  sometimes  called  the  middle  topsail. — In  square 
rigged  ships,  a  topsail  which  is  the  result  of  cutting  a  heavy  square 
topsail  in  half,  thus  making  two  (an  upper  and  a  lower)  where  only 
one  used  to  be.  As  these  two  halves  are  more  readily  worked  than 
the  original  whole,  the  system  is  now  commonly  followed  on  all 
modern  ships.  It  is  more  fully  described  under  the  heading  double 

Lubber. — A  term,  not  altogether  of  endearment,  used  among 
sailors.  It  means  "a  person  " — usually  a  "foolish  person."  It  is, 
in  fact,  a  contemptuous  name  given  by  seamen  to  those  who  are  not 
versed  in  their  own  art. 



Land-lubber  is  the  title  appropriated  to  a  landsman. 

Lubber's  hole  is  a  name  given  to  an  aperture  in  the  gear  of  a 
topmast  through  which  access  may  be  obtained  to  the  masthead 
by  a  slower  but  less  dangerous  means  than  that  ordinarily  taken 
by  active  seamen ;  for  which  reason  it  is  considered  only  worthy 
of  a  lubber,  or  land-lubber.     (See  diagram  to  FuTTOCK  PLATE.) 

Lubber's  line. — The  mark  in  the  mariner's 
compass  case  which  shows  the  exact  fore-and- 
aft  direction  of  the  ship.  Thus,  whatever 
point  conies  under  the  lubber's  line  tells  the 
direction  in  which  the  ship's  head  lies.  The 
origin  of  the  name  is  not  altogether  plain, 
unless  we  suppose  that  seamen  have  the 
faculty  of  calculating  the  exact  position  of 
such  a  Line  without  its  presence. 

Lubberland. — "A  kind  of  El  Dorado  in 
sea  story. "  Lubber's  Line. 

Luff.  —  The  luff  of  a  sail   is  its  weather  edge.     (See   Sail.) 

To  luff  in  sailing,  is  to  bring  a  vessel's  head  closer  to  the  wind. 

To  luff  up  or  luff  round  is  to  throw  her  head  right  up  to  the  wind. 

To  luff  into  a  harbour  or  bay,  is  to  sail  into  it  close-hauled  to 
the  wind. 

To  spring  a  luff. — To  yield  to  the  helm  and  allow  the  vessel  to  go 
nearer  the  wind. 

Luff  hooks. — "Tackle  with  two  hooks,  one  of  which  is  to  hitch 
into  the  cringles  of  the  main  and  fore-sail,  and  the  other  into  a 
strap  or  pulley  rope  let  into  the  chess-tree,  etc.,  its  use  being  to 
succour  the  tackles  in  a  large  sail. "     (Bailey's  Dictionary.) 

Luff  tackle. — "  Any  tackle  that  is  not  designed  for  any  particular 
place. " 

The  word  "  luff  "  was  anciently  expressed  "  loof, "  in  explanation  of 
which  we  have  the  following  :  "  The  loof  is  that  part  of  a  ship 
aloft  which  lies  just  before  the  timbers  called  chess-trees,  as  far 
as  the  bulk-head  of  the  forecastle. 

1  'Loof  pieces  are  those  guns  that  lie  in  the  loof  of  a  ship. "   (Bailey. ) 

Lug. — Lug  sail. — A  four-sided  sail,  bent  to  a  yard,  and  slung  to 
the  mast  in  a  fore-and-aft  position ;  it  is  a  sail 
exceedingly  common  in  boats,  and  by  far  the 
best  with  which  to  provide  a  beginner.     There 
are  three  kinds  of  lug  sails  in  general  use,  the 
standing  or  working,  the  dipping,  and  the  bal- 
ance; to  these  may  be  added  the   Clyde  lug, 
whicli  is  less  common,  though  still  often  seen, 
and  is,  in  fact,  only  an  enlarged  standing  lug. 
1.  Standing  or  working  lug. — This  sail  is  bent 
to  a  yard,  and  may  be  with  or  without  a  boom  : 
if  without,  it  has  one  particular  advantage  to  Ipiea 
beginners;   for  when  the  sheet  is  let  go  the^^. 
sail  holds  no  wind,  or,  in  popular  language,         Working  Lug. 



becomes  little  more  than  a  flag.  Yet  the  use  of  it  will  not  teach  the 
art  of  sailing,  because  there  is  danger  that  the  tyro,  getting  accus- 
tomed to  letting  go  his  sheet  in  heavy  puffs  of  wind, will  do  likewise 
when  he  comes  to  handle  a  boat  rigged  with  a  boom  sail ;  the  conse- 
quences of  which  may  often  be  serious,  for  a  boom  sail  holds  the  wind, 
and  by  letting  it  go  the  boat  may  be  capsized. 

2.  Dipping  lug. — Much  used  at  sea,  but 
inconvenient  except  in  making  long  reaches, 
for  the  tack  being  carried  to  the  stem  post 
of  the  boat,  it  is  necessaiy  to  drop,  or  "dip" 
the  sail  (hence  the  name)  each  time  the  boat 
goes  about,  and  reset  it  on  the  other  side  of 
the  mast.  It  is  nevertheless  a  veiy  powerful 
sail,  and  in  skilful  hands  the  dipping  is 
quickly  accomplished  ;  and  by  the  tack  being 
carried  forward  it  becomes  both  lug  and 
foresail  in  one. 

3.  Balance  lug. — The  favourite  sail  for 
pleasure  boats  and  small  yachts  rigged  with 
lug  sails.  It  has  a  lower  spar,  called  the 
boom,  which  may  be  extended  beyond  the 
stem,  and  sometimes  even  beyond  the  stem 
of  the  boat ;  and  which  allows,  therefore,  of 
a  very  large  sail,  well  suited  to  quiet  waters, 
though  somewhat  dangerous  at  sea,  espe- 
cially when  running,  for  the  boom,  if  very 
long,  is  liable  to  catch  the  waves. 

4.  Clyde  lug.  —  This  is  a  standing  lug 
carried  to  a  great  height  on  a  mast  stepped 
well  in  the  bows ;  the  yard  is  long  and 
heavy ;  and  the  sheet  of  the  sail  travels 
on  a  horse  on  the  transom  of  the  boat. 

It  need  hardly  be  said  that  all  sails  must 
be  kept  close  in  to  their  masts,  for  otherwise 
great  loss  of  power  will  result.  This  has 
always  presented  more  or  less  difficulty 
with  lug  sails.  The  simplest  and  com- 
monest method  of  overcoming  it  is  by 
an  iron  ring  travelling  on  the  mast  and 
also  hooked  to  the  yard.  All  those,  how- 
ever, who  have  had  experience  of  this 
method,  agree  that  it  is  imperfect ;  the 
ring  being  liable  to  jam.  A  number  of 
schemes  have  been  recommended  in  its 
place ;  each  person  is  inclined  to  regard 
his  own  invention  as  the  best,  and  some 
us  so.  It  is  found,  however,  that  a  system  invented  by  and 
working  admirably  with  one  person,  often  fails  altogether  to 
satisfy    another.      The    diagram    illustrates    one    or    two    of    the 

Clyde  Lug. 

so  as    far    as  to  tell 



schemes  generally  found  useful.  A  shows 
a  device  recommended  by  Mr.  Davies 
("Boat  Sailing  for  Amateurs"),  B  is 
the  plain  ring,  and  C  a  plan  often  em- 
ployed with  success.  In  the  last  the  line 
D,  after  passing  round  the  mast,  hangs 
loosely  until  the  sail  is  set  up,  when  it  is 
tightened,  thus  bringing  the  yard  close 
to  the  mast,  and  in  lowering  there  is 
little  fear  of  jamming.  But  the  beginner 
with  lug-sails  will  do  well  to  obtain  from 
some  fisherman  or  waterman  information 
as  to  the  various  methods  of  forming 
&  parrel,  and  having  done  so,  he  is  at 
liberty  to  make  use  of  the  one  he  finds 
most  convenient. 

Lugger. — A  boat  rigged  with  lug  sails.  They  are  of  various 
types  and  common  to  most  of  the  northern  countries,  being  mostly 
employed  by  fishermen 
on  account  of  their 
extreme  handiness. 
They  may  be  single- 
masted,  two-masted  or 
three-masted,  and  often 
set  top-sails.  The  sails 
employed  in  these  ves- 
sels, which  often  reach 
a  considerable  size,  are 
either  standing  or  dip- 
ping lugs.  Of  all  lug- 
gers in  the  world,  those 
of  the  town  of  Deal  are 
thought  to  hold  the  highest  reputation;  but  all  along  the  coasts  they 
are  worked  in  a  manner  often  wonderful  to  see,  and  go  out  to  sea 
when  no  other  boat  could  live. 

Lumper. — One  employed    in    the  loading   or  unloading  of  a 

Lurch. — A  heavy  roll  or  jerk  to  one  side. 



Mad. — The  term  applied  to  the  state  of  the  compass  needle 
when  its  polarity  has  been  injured. 

Made. — Made  block. — A  block  the  shell  of  which  is  composed  of 
several  parts,     (See  BLOCK.) 

Made  eye. — A  Flemish  eye  (which  see,  under  Eye). 

Made  mast. — A  mast  made  of  several  parts,  as  the  lower  mast  of 
a  large  vessel.     {See  Mast.) 



Mail. — Mail  boat. — A  boat  carrying  letters,  etc.  From  the 
following  it  will  be  seen  how  the  term  came  into  use  :  "  Mail 
(French,  malle). — A  word  which  signified  originally  the  bag 
containing  letters  forwarded  by  Government  for  the  public  con- 
venience, but  it  was  soon  afterwards  extended  to  the  letters 
themselves,  and  it  is  now  used  also  for  the  conveyance  in  which 
ttiey  are  forwarded." 

Main.— In  all  rigs  of  vessels  the  word  main  applies  alike  to  the 
principal  mast  and  the  principal  sail  it  carries.  In  a  ship  we  find 
the  main  mast  rigged  with  the  main  shrouds,  main  stays,  main 
halyards,  etc. ,  and  carrying  the  main  sail  (called  the  main  course), 
which  is  bent  to  the  main  yard.  Above  tliis  rises  the  main -top- 
mast with  the  main-top-sail,  the  main-top-gallant  mast  with  the 
main-top-gallant  sail,  and  the  main-royal  mast  with  the  main- 
royal  and  sky  sails.  The  position  of  the  main-mast  varies  in 
different  rigs,  as  given  under  the  heading  Mast. 

Main  halyards. — The  halyards  (ropes)  which  elevate  the  main 
sail.  In  fore-and-aft  or  gaff  main  sails  (those  stretched  on  a  gaff) 
the  throat  halyards  —  those 
attached  to  the  throat  of  the 
gaff — are  usually  called  the 
main  halyards,  to  distinguish 
them  from  the  peak  halyards, 
which  elevate  the  peak  of  the 
gaff.  But  both  these  may 
be  included  under  the  one 
term  "  main  halyards."  (See 
diagram. ) 

Main  sheet.  —  The  rope 
working  the  main  sail.  In 
square-rigged  ships  it  is  the 
aftermost  (for  the  time  being) 
of  the  ropes  attached  to  the 

clews  of  the  main  course,  the  weathermost  being  the  tack.  And 
when  the  ship  goes  al>out  these  two  change  their  names.  The  main 
sheet  of  a  fore-and-aft  rigged  vessel  runs  through  a  block  attached 
to  the  after  end  of  the  boom,  if  there  be  one,  or  otherwise  to  the 
clew  of  the  main  sail,  and  through  another  block  on  deck,  which 
may  be  fixed  or  travel  on  a  horse,  the  number  of  times  it  parses 
through  these  blocks  depending  upon  the  power  required  to  work 
the  sail.  In  large  racing  yachts  the  purchase  is  enormous ;  and 
a  system  of  tackle  upon  tackle  being  employed,  the  main  sheet 
assumes  the  form  of  almost  a  network  of  rcpes. 

Main  stays. — The  stays  which  support  the  main  mast.  Thus 
we  find  in  a  ship  the  main  stay,  running  from  the  main- 
mast head  forward  to  the  base  of  the  fore-mast ;  the  main 
shrouds,  and  the  main  backstays.  Upon  the  mainstay  is  set 
the  main -staysail.  There  are  also  the  main-tqp-mast  stay  and 
stay-sail,  etc. 




Main  and  foresail  rig. — This  term 
is  employed  for  want  of  a  better. 
Its  meaning  will  be  obvious  ;  a  boat 
is  rigged  with  a  large  main  sail  and 
foresail,  or  possibly  with  a  jib.  The 
rig  is  frequently  applied  to  the  racing 
boats  known  as  half-raters. 

Main  and  mizzen  rig. — This  is  a 
rig  frequently  seen  in  small  boats, 
on  account  of  its  general  handiness 
for  all  seasons,  and  it  is  peculiarly 
adapted  to  very  long  boats.  The 
rig  consists  of  a  mainsail,  which  may 
be  a  balance  lug  and  a  mizzen,  with 
or  without  the  addition  of  a  foresail. 
Mr.  Christopher  Davies  in  his  "Boat 
Sailing  for  Amateurs  "  makes  various 
remarks  upon  the  utility  of  this  rig 
and  of  a  variety  of  it  in  which  the 
mizzen  works  with  the  tiller,  much 

bar^  *****  ™Y  "  **  ^^  °f  &  MAIN  AND  MIZZEN' 

Main  deck. — The  principal  deck  on  a  vessel  having  several  decks. 
(See  Deck.) 

Main  yard  men  (old  term). — Men  on  the  sick  list. 

Slake. — An  expression  signifying  "  to  reach  "  or  "  attain  to." 
Thus,  to  make  a  harbour  is  to  reach  it ;  to  try  and  make  any  object, 
to  try  and  reach  it. 

Make  headway. — To  move  forward,  generally  expressed  as  against 
some  difficulty,  as  against  a  head-wind  or  tide. 

Make  water. — To  leak. 

Making  of  the  tides. — The  tides  are  highest  and  lowest  about  new 
and  full  moon,  when  they  are  called  spring  tides,  and  smallest  at  the 
intermediate  times  (first  and  last  quarters  of  the  moon),  when  they 
are  known  as  neap  tides.  From  the  period  of  neap  to  that  of  spring 
tide,  therefore,  the  tides  must  be  increasing  in  strength  and  volume, 
and  are  then  said  to  be  making.     (See  Lagging  of  the  Tides.) 

Mal-de-mer. — A  malady  which  often  overtakes  those  unused  to 
the  motion  of  the  sea. 

Man. — To  place  the  right  complement  of  hands  upon  a  ship  or 
any  part  of  it. 

To  man  a  boat. — To  place  in  her  her  full  number  of  rowers. 

To  man  the  yards. — To  range  the  people  on  the  yards,  rigging, 
etc.,  of  a  vessel,  either  in  honour  of  some  person  or  in  commemora- 
tion of  some  event,  as  a  salute. 

Man-hole. — A  hole  in  an  engine's  boiler,  or  elsewhere,  through 
which  a  man  can  crawl  when  necessaiy  to  examine  the  inside. 

Man-ropes. — A  general  name  for  ropes  used  in  ascending  a  ship's 
sides,  hatchways,  etc. 

A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEEMS.  173 

Manly. — A  terra  sometimes  used  by  the  fishermen  to  describe  the 
seaworthiness  of  a  vessel.  If  she  is  handy  and  a  good  weather  boat 
she  is  said  to  behave  herself  "  like  a  man,"  or  in  "manly  "  fashion. 

Manilla. — "  A  valuable  cordage  made  in  the  Philippines,  which 
not  being  subject  to  rot  does  not  require  to  be  tarred."  (Smyth.) 

Mariner. — Anciently,  a  first-class,  or  able-bodied  seaman. 

Mariner's  compass.     (See  COMPASS.) 

Marines. — A  corps  of  men  serving  something  like  soldiers  on 
board  a  vessel  of  war.  They  are  sometimes  called  the  "  jollies,"  in 
contradistinction  to  the  name  "  johnnies, "  given  to  the  bluejackets. 

Marks — Marks  and  dips,  or  deeps. — Certain  divisions  on  the  hand 
lead-bine  to  show  depth  at  a  glance  or  by  feeling.    (See  Lead.) 

Mar-line. — Small  bine,  composed  of  two  strands  very  little 
twisted.  It  may  be  either  white  or  tarred.  Mar-bine  is  commonly 
used  in  parcelling  a  rope — that  is  binding  canvas  round  it,  to 
prevent  its  galling.  It  is  also  the  material  employed  in  securing 
the  bolt  ropes  to  large  sails  by  a  peculiar  system  of  knots  called 
marling  hitches,  instead  of  sewing. 

Marling. — To  marl. — To  wind  any  small  line,  as  mar-line, 
spun  line,  etc.,  round  a  rope  in  such  a  manner  that  every  turn  it 
takes  is  secured  by  a  sort  of  knot.  It  is  thus  much  safer  than  mere 
whipping,  for  if  one  lap  wears  through  the  others  still  hold.  The 
art  of  marling  must  be  learned  from  some  fisherman  or  waterman. 

Marling  spike. — A  pointed  instrument  of  iron  used  to  open  the 
strands  of  rope  when  splicing,  marling,  etc. 

Maroon. — "  To  put  one  or  more  sailors  on  shore  upon  a  desolate 
island,  under  pretence  of  their  having  committed  some  great  crime. 
This  detestable  expedient  has  been  too  often  practised  by  some 
inhuman  commanders  of  merchant  ships,  particularly  in  the  West 
Indies."     (Falconer.) 

Marry. — To  join  ropes  together,  as  it  were  in  the  bond  of 
matrimony.  Thus  :— 1.  (In  splicing  rope.)  To  join  one  rope  to 
another  in  such  a  manner  that  the  join  may  be  reeved  through  a 
block.  2.  (In  working  ships.)  To  marry  ropes,  braces,  or  falls. 
— To  hold  two  such  ropes  together,  and,  by  pressure,  to  haul  in  on 
both  equally. 

Marry  at' s  code. — The  code  of  signalling  for  many  years  used 
at  sea,  but  now  superseded  by  the  International  Code.  (Sec  SIGNALS.) 

Martello  towers. — The  name  given  to  the  small  circular  forts, 
or  towers,  met  with  along  the  East  and  South-East  coasts,  and  placed 
there  in  view  of  the  meditated  and 
boasted     invasion     of    England    by 
Bonaparte.     "  The  name  is  usually 
supposed  to  be  derived  from  a  fort 
in  Mortella  (Myrtle)  Bay,  Corsica, 
which,  after  a  determined  resistance, '"".: 
was  at  last  captured  by  the  British  ~~ 
in  1794."  Martello  Tower. 

174  A    DICTION ABY    OF    SEA    TEBMS. 

Martingale— The  rope  extending  from  a  jib  boom  end  down- 
wards to  a  dolphin  striker  ;  its  office  being  to  stay  the  jib  boom  in 
the  same  manner  as  the  bobstays  stay  the  bowsprit.  (See  diagram 

Martnets. — In  square  rig,  small  lines  fasten ed  to  the  leech  of 
a  sail  reeved  through  a  block  on  the  mast  head  and  brought  down 
on  deck,  their  use  being  to  bring  the  leech  of  a  sail  to  its  yard  to  be 
furled.     This  is  called  topping  up  on  the  martnets. 

Mast. — "A  long  piece,  or  system  of  pieces,  of  timber,  placed 
nearly  perpendicularly  to  the  keelson  of  a  vessel  to  support  the 
yards,  or  gaffs,  on  which  the  sails  are  extended.  When  a  mast  is  one 
entire  piece,  it  is  called  a  pole-mast ;  but  in  all  large  vessels  it  is  com- 
posed of  several  lengths,  called  lower,  top,  and  top-gallant  masts — 
sometimes  a  fourth,  called  a  royal  mast,  which,  however,  is  usually 
in  one  piece  with  the  top-gallant  mast."  (Brande  and  Cox.)  Under 
this  heading  it  may  be  most  generally  useful  to  describe  the  gear  em- 
ployed to  support  the  mast  and  top-mast  of  a  cutter  or  yawl  yacht, 
referring  the  reader  to  the  figures  (opposite),  and  where  technical 
terms  are  made  use  of,  to  the  definitions  under  their  respective  head- 
ings. A  mast  is  said,  when  set  up,  to  be  stepped,  because  its  foot  is 
fitted  into  a  step,  or  chock,  the  office  of  which  is  to  distribute  the  weight 
of  the  mast  over  as  great  a  part  of  the  keelson  as  may  be  possible. 
It  is  held  upright  to  the  level  of  the  deck  by  a  framework  called 
the  mast-case  ;  and  is  further  strengthened,  on  the  deck  itself,  by  a 
frame  called  thepartners.  The  lower  portion  of  the  mast  is  usually 
square,  this  part  being  called  the  housing,  because  it  is  housed,  or 
enclosed  in  the  mast  case.  The  mast  is  not,  however,  fitted  very 
closely  in  its  framing,  but,  on  the  contrary,  is  allowed  a  little  play 
in  these  parts,  in  case  they,  or  the  deck,  should  swell  or  become 
strained,  and  press  upon  it,  a  possibility  which  might  be  attended 
by  serious  consequences  ;  it  depends,  in  fact,  for  its  support  upon 
its  shrouds  and  stays.  In  sucli  craft  as  certain  barges,  or  the 
Norfolk  wherries,  not  only  is  the  stowage  room  usually  occupied 
by  the  mast  housing  required  for  cargo,  but  beyond  this  there  is  the 
constant  necessity  to  lower  the  mast  in  passing  under  bridges.  The 
mast  is,  therefore,  set  up  on  deck,  its  housing  working  in  a  casing 
called  the  tabernacle.  The  mast  being  stepped,  is  now  to  be  rigged. 
At  a  short  distance  from  the  mast  head  are  the  hounds,  otherwise 
called  the  cheeks,  on  Avhich  the  shrouds  rest  (supporting  the  mast 
laterally),  together  with  the  back-stays,y\\\ich  prevent  it  from  falling 
forward,  and  the  fore-stay,  which  keeps  it  from  falling  backward  ; 
all  of  these  serving  to  hold  it  securely  up.  That  part  of  the  mast 
from  the  deck  upwards  to  the  hounds  is  called  the  hounding  :  the 
part  above  this  is  the  head.  The  shrouds  communicate  with  the 
shroud  plates,  often  called  the  channels,  on  the  vessel's  sides,  by 
means  of  lanyards,  rove  through  the  dead  eyes,  which  enable  them 
to  be  made  taut.  The  back  stays  with  their  tackles  run  further 
aft ;  while  the  fore-stay  runs  down  to  the  stem-head.  Just  above 
the  hounds,  and  supported  by  them,  are  the  trestle-trees,  which,  in 



their  turn,  are  short  pieces  of  wood  running  fore  and  aft  and  bearing 
the  cross  trees.  The  cross  trees  give  lateral  support  to  the  topmast. 
At  the  mast  head  projects  an  iron  ring,  called  the  cap:  through  it 
the  topmast  runs  ;  and  between  the  trestle  trees  is  usually  another 

►  Trwe*. 

The  Parts  of  a  Mast. 

Various  Masts. 

ring,  called  the  lower  cap,  or  yoke,  answering  a  like  purpose.  The 
topmast  is  placed  forward  of  the  lower  mast,  and  thus  runs  up 
between  the  trestle  trees  and  in  the  caps.  When  raised  so  that  its 
heel  is  just  above  the  level  of  the  cross  tree,  a  bolt  of  iron,  the  fid, 

176  A    DICTIONARY    OP    SEA    TERMS. 

is  passed  through  a  hole  at  its  heel  called  the  fid-hole :  the  fid  rests 
upon  the  trestle-trees,  and  on  it  the  whole  weight  of  the  topmast  is 
carried.  The  topmast  is  then  said  to  be  fidded.  The  topmast 
fidded,  requires  staying.  A  short  distance  below  the  truck  are 
small  cheeks,  placed  there,  as  on  the  lower  mast,  for  the  reception 
of  the  topmast  shrouds  and  stays.  The  shrouds  are  stretched  over 
the  extremities  of  the  cross-trees  and  brought  down  only  a  little 
below  them,  their  ends  being  usually  attached  to  ropes,  called  legs, 
which,  by  means  of  a  purchase,  serve  to  haul  them  taut.  The  reason 
why  these  shrouds  are  not  brought  down  to  the  deck  when  the  topmast 
is  set  (as  are  the  main  shrouds)  is  this : — if  they  came  down  to  the 
deck  when  the  topmast  was  up,  they  would  be  so  long  when  it  came 
down  that  it  woxild  be  difficult  to  coil  them  out  of  the  way  ;  whereas, 
by  keeping  them  short  they  only  just  reach  the  deck  when  the  top- 
mast is  struck,  and  (the  legs  being  detached)  they  can  be  comfortably 
stowed  away.  The  topmast  forestay  prevents  the  topmast  from  falling 
backward ;  it  runs  down  from  the  mast  head  to  the  bowsprit  head. 
The  topmast  backstays  keep  it  back  and  belay,  therefore,  some  dis- 
tance aft  of  the  mast ;  they  can  be  slackened  out  as  the  sail  swings 
over.  Upon  the  lower  mast,  between  the  trestle-trees  and  the  cap,  are 
hung  the  various  blocks  through  wdiich  pass  the  halyards ;  and,  on 
the  topmast,  those  for  the  topsail  and  jib  topsail  halyards.  Such  is 
the  mast  of  a  large  yacht ;  but  many  boats  are  without  a  topmast, 
as  are  the  mizzen  masts  of  yawls,  and  generally  of  ketches,  these 
being,  in  fact,  nothing  more  than  poles  ;  and  hence  they  are  called, 
as  above  mentioned,  pole-masts. 

Masts  are  variously  named,  according  to  the  rig  of  the  vessel : — In 
a  full-rigged  ship  the  masts  are  three  in  number,  viz.,  the  main,  the 
fore,  and  the  mizzen,  the  main  being  in  the  centre  and  the  mizzen  aft ; 
and  as  the  ship  appears  to  be  the  standard  by  which  other  vessels  are 
compared,  it  would  seem  to  follow  that  all  vessels  are,  more  or  less, 
but  modifications  of  it.  Thus  in  four-masted  ships  there  is  one  mast 
added,  viz.,  the  jigger  (see  below),  and  they  carry,  therefore,  fore, 
main,  mizzen,  and  jigger  masts  ;  while  one  large  German  sailing 
vessel  has  five.  The  bark  and  the  barkentine,  like  the  ship,  carry 
the  three  masts,  the  difference  between  these  and  the  ship  being  in 
the  modification  of  the  rigs.  In  schooners,  brigs,  and  brigantines,  the 
mizzen  has  been  cut  off,  leaving  the  two  masts  fore  and  main.  The 
main  is,  in  these,  therefore,  the  after  one.  In  ketches,  yawls,  and 
some  barges,  there  are  also  two  masts,  but  the  fore  has  been  cut  off, 
leaving  the  main  and  mizzen,  and  here,  therefore,  the  main  becomes 
the  forward  mast.  In  cutters,  sloops,  and  in  many  fishing  craft, 
both  fore  and  mizzen  have  been  cut  off,  leaving  only  one  mast,  the 
main.  Luggers  have  sometimes  three  masts  and  sometimes  two,  in 
the  latter  case,  generally,  the  main  and  mizzen. 

There  are  also  masts  which  constitute  no  general  part  of  a  vessel's 
rig;  as  jury  masts,  which  are  temporary  masts,  set  up  before  the 
permanent  masts  are  stepped,  to  take  the  vessel  only  a  short  dis- 
tance, or  in  place  of  one  accidentally  carried  away.      Barges  are 



usually  fitted  with  "juries"  for  getting  up  and  down  rivers  when 
the  bridges  are  so  numerous  that  the  main  mast  cannot  be  elevated 
between  them  :  they  are  veiy  often  to  be  seen  on  the  London  river, 
between  bridges.  (See  fig.  under  Jury.)  A  tow  mast  is  one  used 
in  river  and  canal  towing.  (See  under  Tow. )  A  jigger  is  a  small 
mast  or  an  extra  mast.  The  small  mast  fitted  to,  and  working 
with,  the  rudder  of  a  barge,  is  sometimes  called  the  jigger.  In 
four-masted  ships  the  fourth  mast  is  the  jigger-mast.     (See  above.) 

The  following  terms  are  used  with  reference  to  masts  : — 

Spent  mast. — A  mast  is  said  to  be  spent  when  it  is  broken  in 
rough  weather  and  rendered  useless. 

Spring  the  mast. — A  mast  is  sprung  when  it  is  broken  or  badly 
strained,  though  it  need  not  necessarily  be  spent. 

Raking  masts. — A  mast  set  out  of  the  upright  is  said  to  rake. 
Schooners,  yachts,  and  steamboats  have  often  raking  masts  ;  with 
other  vessels  it  is  not  so  usual.  The  rake  is  generally  understood 
to  mean  an  inclination  backward  ;  but  on  some  occasions  the  inclina- 
tion is  forward,  when  it  is  described  as  raking  forward,  or  stayed 
forward.     (See  fig.  under  liAKE.) 

In  the  manufacture  of  masts  the  following  terms  are  often 
employed  : — 

Armed  mast. — A  mast  made  of  more  than  one  tree. 

Made  mast. — A  mast  made  up  of  several  united  pieces,  in  con- 
tradistinction to  one  consisting  of  a  single  piece  or  tree.  Large 
masts  are  stronger  made  than  of  one  pole,  and  less  liable  to  spring, 
but  for  small  vessels  the  pole  is -the  more  elastic. 

Rough  mast. — A  spar  fit  to  make  a  mast  out  of,  or  before  the 
mast  is  made  of  it. 

Masts  and  other  spars  are  sometimes  seen  to  be  apparently  cracked 
along  (or  between)  the  fibres  ;  but  this,  though  defective,  does  not 
materially  affect  their  elasticity.  Large  knots, 
on  the  other  hand,  are  sometimes  dangerous ; 
and  all  holes,  bolts,  or  screws,  piercing  the 
fibre,  tend  to  weaken  the  spar.  There  is  an 
old  saying  having  reference  to  the  masts  of  fore- 
and-aft  rigged  boats,  viz.,  "Mainmast  strong 
and  topmast  long."  Old  sayings  are  often  true 

Mast  hoops,  or  rings,  sometimes  called  hanks. 
The  rings,  either  of  ash,  cane,  or  metal, 
encircling  a  mast,  and  to  which  a  lower  fore- 
and-aft  sail  (such  as  the  mainsail)  is  fastened. 
To  these  rings  the  sail  is  said  to  be  bent  on, 
down  that  portion  of  it  called  the  luff,  or  weather 

Mast-rope. — Another  name  for  the  heel-rope 
(which  see). 

Master. — The  captain  of  a  merchant  vessel, 
who  holds  a  master's  or  extra- master's  certificate. 





Mate  (in  a  ship). — Literally,  the  master's  assistant.  There 
may  be  in  a  merchant  vessel  as  many  as  four  or  five  mates  ;  they 
are  officers  under  the  captain.  In  the  Royal  Navy  there  are  various 
mates,  who  are  petty  officers. 

Matthew  Walker. — A  stopper  knot  which  takes  its  name  from 
the  originator.     (See  KNOTS. ) 

Maul. — A  large  iron  hammer. 

Top  maul. — A  hammer  with  an  iron  handle  used  in  large  vessels  to 
drive  the  fid  in  or  out  of  a  top  mast,  and  for  this  purpose  it  is  often 
attached  to  the  mast  head. 

Measurement  of  vessels. — The  calculation  of  their  capacities 
upon  certain  data.     (See  Tonnage,  Displacement,  Rating.) 

Member's  flag.— A  small  flag  displayed  by  a  yacht  belonging  to 
any  particular  club,  and  the  device  on  which  is  registered  and 
numbered  in  the  yacht  club's  books.  Each  member  may  have  his 
own  flag.     (For  its  use  see  under  BURGEE.) 

Mend. — To  mend  sails. — To  loose  and  bend  them  afresh  on  their 

Meridian. — To  put  it  into  the  roughest  and  simplest  words,  a 
meridian  is  a  line  round  the  earth  at  right  angles  to  the  Equator  and 
passing  through  the  spectator  (who  may  be  at  any  spot  on  the  earth's 
surface)  or  any  other  point  (as  through  Greenwich,  which  constitutes 
the  Englishman's  first  meridian.)  It  is  the  circle  upon  which 
every  navigator  must  reckon  his  latitude  (distance  from  the  Equator). 

Mesh.— The  space  between 
the  lines  of  a  netting. 

Mess  (at  sea). — A  company 
of  officers  or  men  who  eat  or 
live  together. 

Mess  kid. — A  wooden  vessel 
for  holding  food.  (See  KlD  and 

Messenger. — A  rope  which, 
being  attached  to  a  heavy  cable, 
is  hauled  in  by  a  capstan,  the 
cable  itself  being  too  large  to 
grip  the  barrel.  The  messenger 
is  often  attached  to  the  cable 
by  smaller  ropes  called  nippers, 
and  is  then  said  to  be  nipped  on. 

Metacentre  (in  hydro- 
statics and  naval  architecture). 

— That  point  in  a  floating  body  upon  the  position   of  which  the 
stability  of  the  body  depends. 

Mete  stick  (on  ship  board). — A  measure  used  in  stowing  the 
cargo  in  order  to  preserve  proper  levels. 

Metropolitan  police. — The  river  police  have  jurisdiction  over 
the  Thames  from  Staines  to  the  Nore.  The  offices  of  the  company 
are  at  St.  Mary's-at-Hill,  London. 

>    =£   --TSfftW^ 

A    DICTIONARY    OP    SEA    TEEMS.  179 

Middle  topsail,  or  lower  topsail. — In  square-rigged  ships,  one 
of  the  divisions  resulting  from  the  method  adopted  by  C  unningham, 
and  others,  of  cutting  the  old  style  of  topsail  in  half.  It  is  the  lower 
division,  and  therefore  hangs  between  the  topsail  (the  upper  division) 
and  the  course  below,  from  which  circumstance  it  may  with  equal 
propriety  be  called  either  the  middle  or  the  lower  topsail,  while  the 
two  together  are  known  as  double,  or  Cunningham's  topsails.  (See 
also  under  Double  Topsails.  )  Smyth  gives  the  following  definition 
of  another  square  sail  which  he  calls  a  middle  topsail : — "  A  deep 
roached  sail  set  in  some  schooners  and  sloops  on  the  heel  of  their 
topmasts,  between  the  top  and  the  cap."  This  is  a  remnant  of  the 
old  rig  of  cutters,  sloops,  etc.,  which  once  carried  square  sails,  and 
may  still  occasionally  be  seen  in  some  of  the  Yorkshire  billyboys  and 
ketches.  It  is  more  fully  described  under  the  heading  Ketch  and 
in  the  note  under  SQUARE  Rig. 

Midships. — The  same  as  a'midships — i.e.,  in  the  middle  portion 
of  a  vessel. 

Midship  beam. — The  beam  upon  which  the  extreme  breadth  of  the 
ship  is  formed. 

Midship  bend. — The  broadest  frame  in  a  ship,  called  the  dead  flat. 

Midshipman. — The  rank  in  the  Royal  Navy  above  the  cadet.  The 
lowest  commissioned  officer.  Gentlemen's  sons  apprenticed  to  the 
sea  in  the  merchant  navy  are  also  called,  by  courtesy,  midshipmen. 
"  Middy  "  is  the  popular  abbreviation  of  this  word. 

Midshipmen's  nuts. — Biscuits  all  broken  into  pieces. 

Mile. — The  sea  or  Nautical  Mile = one  sixtieth  of  a  degree  of 
latitude,  and  varies  from  6,046ft.  on  the  Equator  to  6,092ft. 
in  lat.  60°. 

Nautical  Mile  for  speed  trials,  generally  (?'?5?f®e*    ,         ., 
-called  the  Admiralty  Measured  Mile    ...     ...  |£Jg  **££  mlles 

Miller. — To  drown  the  miller. — To  put  too  much  water  into  grog. 

Miss  stays. — A  vessel  is  said  to  miss  stays  when,  in  tacking,  she 
fails  to  come  about,  and  gets  hung  up  in  the  wind.  (For  a  fuller 
meaning  of  the  term  see  under  Tack.) 

Mitchboard. — A  prop  or  stanchion  with  a  semicircular  groove 
cut  into  its  upper  end  for  the  support  of  a  boom  when  at  rest.  It 
is  sometimes  employed  instead  of  a  crutch  to  take  the  weight  of  the 
boom  off  the  halyards.     {See  CRUTCH.) 

Mizzen. — (Fr.,  artimeno;  Ital.,  mezzana). — The  word  applies  to 
both  mast  and  sails. 

Mizzen  mast. — The  aftermost  mast  in  vessels  of  many  descriptions, 
as  described  under  the  heading  Mast. 

Mizzen  sails. — Those  bent  to  a  mizzen  mast.  The  following  may 
be  interesting  as  relating  to  the  origin  of  the  name  "  mizzen. " 
"  The  word  occurs  in  Italian  as  mezzana,  a  lateen  sail,  and  in 
French  as  mizaine,  a  foresail,  and  must  be  traced  to  the  Latin 
medium,  and  the  Greek  mesos,  its  application  arising  from  the  mizzen 
sail  in  a  galley  being  in  the  middle  line  of  the  ship,  while  the  other 

N  2 



sails  were  carried  across  the  deck."  (Brande  and  Cox.)  Our  busi- 
ness here  is  with  the  mizzen  as  applied  to  yachts  and  sailing  boats. 
In  yachts  its  presence  constitutes  a  yawl,  and  though  apparently 
one  of  the  most  insignificant  of  the  sails,  it  is  yet  one  of  the  most 
useful ;  for  by  its  aid  a  vessel  will  stand  up  to  the  wind  in  a  gale, 
though  the  mainsail  be  altogether  lowered ;  she  can  also  get  under 
weigh  with  it  and  a  foresail ;  and  in  large  boats  it  saves  the  neces- 
sity of  taking  several  hands.  At  the  same  time,  however,  the 
space  occupied  by  the  mizzen,  where,  in  a  cutter,  the  boom  would 
extend  some  distance  over  the  taffrail,  precludes  the  possibility  of 
the  yawl  rig  being  so  fast  as  that  of  the  cutter.  In  sailing  boats  of 
any  great  length  the  mizzen  is  found  to  be  of  the  utmost  value,, 
though  not  suited  to  those 
which  are  short.  It  also 
forms  part  of  the  main  and 
mizzen  and  of  the  canoe  rig. 
In  barges  and  ketches  it  is 
always  found ;  the  barge 
carrying  one  so  small  in 
comparison  to  the  mainsail 
that  one  might  well  wonder 
that  it  can  be  of  any  service. 
Here,  however,  it  is  often 
set  up  on  and  works  with 
the  rudder,  giving  that 
member  a  double  power  over 
the  long  and  often  deeply 
laden  hull.  In  the  ketch 
it  is  a  larger  sail,  some- 
times without  a  boom,  and 
frequently  surmounted  by 
a  topsail ;  and  in  many 
fishing  boats  it  is  also 
found.  The  mizzen  is,  in  a  word,  a  useful  sail,  depriving  the- 
vessel  of  some  speed,  but  rendering  her  infinitely  more  handier 
than  those  in  which  it  is  dispensed  with  ;  and  one  of  its  great 
advantages  is  that,  to  a  great  extent,  it  does  its  own  work. 

Moderate- — Moderate  breeze. — A  breeze  in  which  all  sail  can  be 
comfortably  set. 

Moderate  gale. — A  wind  necessitating  that  all  reefs  be  taken  in  to 
make  all  snug. 

Mole. — -A  huge  stone  breakwater  or  sea  wall. 

Monk's  seam. — In  sails,  a  seam  sewn  down  the  centre  of  the 
two  seams  by  which  the  cloths  of  large  sails  are  united. 

Monkey. — A  weight,  as  that  of  a  pile-driver. 

Monkey  block. — A  small  single  block  having  a  swivel  strop.  "Also 
those  nailed  to  the  topsail  yards  in  some  ships,  to  lead  the  bunt 
lines. " 

A   DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  181 

Monkey  forecastle. — A  small  elevated  forecastle  or  anchor  deck. 
(See  diagram  under  Deck.  ) 

Monkey  spars. — Reduced  spars. 

Monsoon. — The  periodical  trade  winds  of  certain  latitudes  in  the 
Indian  Ocean. 

Moon-rakers,  or  moon  sails. — In  ships,  square  sails  set  above 
the  sky  sails.  They  are  very  rarely  seen,  and  then  only  in  the 
lightest  winds.  They  come  under  the  head  of  light  sails  {which 

Moor,  mooring. — To  moor  is  to  take  up  a  mooring,  but  some- 
times the  same  term  is  used  to  signify  bringing  a  vessel  to  an  anchor  : 
and  a  vessel  with  an  anchor  out  both  ahead  and  astern  is  said  to  be 
moored  ;  as  she  may  also  be  when  both  anchors  are  brought  to  one 
cable  (as  described  under  Swivel).  A  permanent  mooring  is  an 
arrangement  of  weights  or  cross  pieces  of  timber  sunk  below  the 
ground  under  water.  To  these  a  chain  is  made  fast  and  attached 
at  the  other  end  to  a  rope,  and  that  rope  to  a  buoy.  Boats 
lying  habitually  in  one  harbour  have  moorings  in  it. 

When  a  sailing  boat  desires  to  take  up  her  mooring,  she  comes  up  to 
it,  if  possible,  head  to  wind  and  tide  ;  but  as  neither  winds  nor  tides 
accommodate  themselves  to  the  convenience  of  individuals  there  are 
various  methods  of  doing  this  which  only  experience  can  teach. 
This  is,  indeed,  one  of  the  nicest  and  most  difficult  feats  presented 
to  the  amateur  in  everyday  work.  Presuming,  however,  that  the 
bow  of  the  boat  has  been  brought  to  a  standstill  just  over  the 
mooring  (which,  after  all,  is  the  whole  end  of  the  matter),  the  buoy 
is  picked  up  and  taken  aboard,  and  the  chain  also  brought  aboard 
and  shackled,  or  belayed,  round  the  bowsprit  bitts,  when  the  boat  is 
.secure.  It  is  important  to  remember,  in  taking  in  the  buoy-rope,  to 
bring  as  much  in  as  possible  before  belaying,  as  if  there  be  any  way 
on  the  boat  and  not  sufficient  rope  inboard,  that  already  secured 
may  be  torn  out  of  the  hands. 

To  slip  the  mooring  is  merely  to  let  it  go,  the  buoy  always  show- 
ing where  it  may  be  found  again. 

To  moor  by  the  head. — To  ride  with  two  or  more  anchors  down 
by  the  head. 

Mooring  for  a  fair  berth. — Mooring  in  a  place  of  safety  ;  spoken  of 
ships  coming  to  an  anchorage. 

Mooring  for  east  and  west. — Anchoring  according  to  the  run  of.  a 
tide  or  high  wind,  so  as  to  keep  out  of  danger. 

Mooring  block. — An  object  to  take  the  place  of  an  anchor.  The 
sunken  stone  or  wooden  baulks  which  form  a  permanent  mooring 
are  sometimes  thus  called. 

Mop. — A  broom  with  a  cloth  head,  always  useful  on  board. 

To  mop  along  is  a  slang  term  often  used  of  a  sailing  boat,  to 
express  the  fact  that  she  moves  quickly. 

Mortar  vessel.  —  Under  the  old  system  of  naval  warfare, 
a  vessel  carrying  a  heavy  mortar. 




Mother  Cary's  chickens. — A  name  given  by  seamen  to  the 
birds  known  as  stormy  petrels,  or  storm  birds  (Procellaria  pclagica). 
These  are  able  by  the  help  of  their  wings  to  walk,  as  it  were,  upon 
the  water. 

Mother  Cary's  goose. — Another  of  the  same  family,  only  consider- 
ably larger  (P.  gigantea). 

Mould. — In  shipbuilding  this  term  has  a  meaning  peculiar  to 

To  mould  is  to  draw  out  in  their  proper  dimensions  the  several 
parts  of  a  ship,  for  the  guidance  of  the  builder. 

Moulding  dimensions,  as  applied  to  any  piece  of  timber,  are  its 
depth  or  thickness. 

Moulded  breadth  is  the  measurement  across  the  skeleton  of  a  vessel 
outside  her  timbers  (ribs);  not  across  her  planking,  for  that  is  not 
supposed  to  exist  when  the  moulded  breadth  is  spoken  of. 

Mount. — Expressed  of  a  battleship — as  "  she  mounts  twenty 

Mouse. — A  mouse. — A  thickening  made  in  part 
of  a  rope.  "  A  knot  or  knob  wrought  on  the  outside 
of  a  rope  by  means  of  spun-yarn,  parcelling,  etc., 
as  the  knot  wrought  on  the  stay  of  a  ship  which 
prevents  the  collar  from  closing  round  the  mast 
head."    (Falconer.) 

To  mouse  a  hook. — To  pass  a  yarn  or  fox  round  a 
hook  to  prevent  it  from  clearing  itself  of  whatever  it 
may  be  fastened  to. 

The  Mouse. — An  important  bank   of  sand  in   the 
estuary  of  the  Thames,  on  the  margin  of  which  is 
placed     the     Mouse     lightship, 
which    has  a  green   light  re- 
volving every  twenty  seconds, 
and  gong. 

Mud  pattens.— Boards  to 
be  fastened  to  the  feet,  for 
walking  on  very  soft  mud.  They 
are  difficult  for  beginners  to 
manage  ;  and  it  is  best,  there- 
fore, for  anyone  to  take  an  oar 
or  pole  with  him  when  necessity 
obliges  him  to  put  on  mud 

Mudian,  mugian,  or 
Bermuda  rigf. — A  mudian  is 
one  of  a  class  of  boats  origin- 
ating from  the  Bermudian 
Islands,  and  far  more  important 
in  the  history  of  yacht-build- 
ing than  is  often  allowed.     The  Mudian  Rig. 



Mudian  Rig  Modified. 

following  were  the  main  features  of  the  true  mudian  :  It  was  short, 
of  considerable  beam,  and  of  great  draught  aft ;  the  stem  post  and 
keel  combining  together  to  form  a  deep  curve.  It  had  one  mast, 
of  extraordinary  length,  usually  unsupported  except  for  a  jib-stay. 
The  length  of  this  mast  is  said  to  have  sometimes  reached  two, 
or  even  three,  times  that  of  the  keel.  It  set  two  sails,  a  main  and 
a  jib,  the  latter  running  out  on  a  short  jib-boom  or  bumpkin.  The 
main- sail  was  triangular  in  shape,  its  head  being  taken  up  to  the 
head  of  the  mast,  and  its  foot  stretched  on  a  boom  extending  far 
out  beyond  the  stern.  It  is  to  this  vessel  that  we  are  indebted 
for  many  of  the  improvements  in- 
troduced in  years  past  into  the 
designs  of  our  own  fastest  yachts. 
The  Bermudians,  says  Smyth, 
"  claim  to  be  the  fastest  craft  in 
the  world  for  working  to  wind- 
ward in  smooth  water,  it  being 
recorded  of  one  that  she  made 
five  miles  dead  to  windward  in 
the  hour  during  a  race ;  and 
though  they  may  be  laid  over 
until  they  fill  Avith  water  they 
will  not  capsize."  AVe  occa- 
sionally see  rated  racing  boats 
rigged  Bermuda  fashion,  though  the  height  of  the  mast  is  never 
such  as  that  spoken  of  above.  At  one  time  the  rig  was  popular 
in  a  modified  form,  the  main  becoming  a  sort  of  leg-of-mutton 
sail  (ivhich  see)  ;  and  for  beginners,  who  may  have  the  opportunity 
of  choosing  the  class  of  boat  they  will  take  up,  probably  no  safer 
or  more  instructive  rig  could  be  recommended.  Another  rig  hailing 
from  the  same  islands,  and  having  two  masts,  is  described  under 
the  heading  BERMUDA  RlG. 

"Scud  like  a  mudian." — From  the  above,  the  meaning  of  this 
expression  will  explain  itself.  It  implies  "  be  off  quickly,"  or  "as 
quickly  as  a  mudian." 

Muffle  (oars). — To  put  soft  material  round  the  leathers  of  oars 
to  prevent  noise.     (Only  done  in  warfare.) 

Mugian  Rig.— {See  Mudian  Rig.) 

Mumbleby  or  Mumblebee. — A  name  applied  by  Brixham 
fishermen  to  a  boat  midway  in  size  between  a  hooker  and  a  trawler. 

Muntz  metal. — A  substitute  for  copper,  in  the  sheathing  of  the 
bottoms  of  vessels.  It  answers  well  and  is  much  less  expensive 
than  copper,  but  cannot  compare  with  it  as  a  permanent  covering. 
It  is  an  alloy  of  copper  and  zinc. 

Muster. — To  assemble  together  for  the  purpose  of  resuming  or 
commencing  work.  The  word  would  properly  appear  to  mean  the 
calling  over  of  names,  as  from  a  muster-roll. 

184  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEEMS. 


Nab. — A  reef  of  rocks  below  water.  The  name  of  such  a  reef  off 
the  east  of  the  Tsle  of  Wight,  marked  by  the  Nab  lightship  (which 
shows  a  double  flash  every  45  sees.),  often  spoken  of  in  yacht  racing. 

Nails. — Clincher  Haifa  have  square  shanks.  They  are  driven  and 
withdrawn  without  splitting  planks. 

Single  deck  nails.— Nails  about  6  in.  or  6  in.  in  length. 

Double  deck  nails. — About  7  in.  long.  Both  these  used  in 
fixing  large  timbers,  such  as  decks,  carlines,  etc. 

Ten-penny  nails.— About  2J  in.  in  length  (originally  tenpence 
per  pound). 

Narrows. — Small  passages  between  lands,  submerged  or  dry, 
or  between  sands,  as  "  The  Narrows,"  a  name  met  with  in  many 
rivers  and  estuaries. 

Nautical  voile.— {See  Mile.) 

Naval  architecture. — "  The  science  of  designing  the  forms 
for  'vessels."  It  is,  therefore,  distinct  from  shipbuilding,  which 
is  "  the  application  in  practice  of  the  theoretical  designs  of  the 
naval  architect." 

Naval  cadet. — A  gentleman's  son  training  for  service  as  a  naval 
combatant  officer. 

Naval  crown  (with  the  Romans). — "A  crown  of  gold  or  silver, 
adorned  with  the  figures  of  beaks  of  ships,  which  it  was  their  custom 
to  give  as  a  reward  to  those  who  had  first  boarded  an  enemy's  ship." 
Hence  the  naval  crown  has  become  a  charge  in  heraldry. 

Naval  reserve. — An  auxiliary  naval  force,  originally  formed  in 
1859,  for  men  and  officers. 

Naval  hoods,  or  hawse-bolters  (in  shipbuilding). — Large  pieces 
of  thick  timber  above  and  below  the  hawse  holes. 

Navel  Futtock. — The  ground  futtock  of  the  midship  timber  in  a 
large  vessel. 

Navigation. — That  branch  of  science  which  teaches  the  sailor 
to  conduct  his  ship  from  place  to  place.  "  To  understand  the 
principles  of  navigation  and  their  practical  application,  it  is  necessary 
that  the  mariner  should  be  acquainted  with  the  form  and  magnitude 
of  the  earth,  the  relative  situations  of  the  lines  conceived  to  be 
drawn  on  its  surface,  and  that  he  should  have  charts  of  the  coasts 
and  maps  of  the  harbours  which  he  may  have  occasion  to  visit.  He 
must  also  understand  the  use  of  the  instruments  for  ascertaining  the 
direction  in  which  a  ship  is  steered,  and  the  distance  which  she  sails  ; 
and  be  able  to  deduce  from  the  data  supplied  by  such  instruments 
the  situation  of  the  ship  at  any  time,  and  to  find  the  direction  and 
distance  of  any  place  to  which  it  may  be  required  that  the  ship 
should  betaken."     (Brande  and  Cox.) 

Naze  (Fr.,  ncz,  a  noze,  as  in  Cap  Gris  Nez,  a  cape  on  the  north 
coast  of  France). — A  projecting  piece  of  land,  as  Walton-on-the- 
Naze,  Essex.     (See  also  Nkss.) 



Neap. — Neap  tides. — The  lowest  tides,  taking  place  about  five  or 
six  days  before  the  new  and  full  moons.  Any  influence,  such  as 
winds,  and,  as  the  fishermen  say,  frost,  which  tends  to  prevent  the 
tide  from  reaching  its  expected  height,  is  said  to  "  neap  "  or  "  nip  "  it. 

To  be  beneaped  is  to  be  left  aground  by  a  receding  spring  tide,  in 
such  a  position  that  the  next  tide  does  not  take  the  vessel  off,  and 
she  must,  therefore,  remain  until  the  following  spring  tides. 

Neck. — 1.  Of  a  gaff  or  boom,  that  part  immediately  belund  the 
jaws,  commonly  called  the  throat  (which  see).  2.  Of  an  oar,  that 
part  immediately  before  the  blade.     (See  OAK.) 

Ness  (Fr.  nez,  a  noze). — A  projecting  piece  of  land,  usually  of 
low  level,  as  Orford  Ness,  Sheerness,  etc.     (See  also  Naze.) 

Net. — Nettings. — Nets  of  rope,  placed  at  various  parts  of  a  ship, 
either  for  stowage  or  for  protection  against  danger. 

Torpedo  nets. — A  frame-work  extended  beyond  and  round  a  ship 
of  war  to  prevent  the  entrance  of  projectiles  under  water. 

Nettles,  or  knittles. — Another  name  for  a  species  of  reef- 
points.     (See  Knittles.) 

News. — "  Do  you  hear  the  news?"  "  a  formula  used  in  turning 
up  the; relief  watch."  (Smyth.)  That  is  (in  other  words),  the  cry 
with  winch  those  who  have  completed  their  watch  summon  those 
whose  duty  it  is  to  relieve  them. 

Night  watches. — "  Night  was  originally  divided  by  the 
Hebrews  and  other  Eastern  nations  into  three  watches.  The 
Romans,  and  after  them  the  Jews,  divided  it  into  four,  the  first  of 
which  began  at  sunset  and  lasted  until  about  9  p.m.,  the  second  till 
midnight,  the  third  till  3  a.m.,  and  the  last  terminated  at  sunrise. 
The  ancient  Gauls  and  Germans  divided  their  time,  not  by  days, 
but  by  nights ;  and  the  people  of  Iceland  and  the  Arabs  do  the  same 
at  this  day.  The  like  was  observed  by  our  Saxon  ancestors."  At 
sea  the  difference  between  night  and  day  is  not  taken  into  account, 
and  the  night  watches  are  the  same  as  the  day.     (See  WATCHES.) 

Nip  (of  a  cable  or  hawser). — To  secure 
it  with  a  seizing. 

Nippers.  —  Certain  lengths  of  rope 
fastening  the  cable  to  the  messenger. 

Selvage  nippers. — Rope  rings  used 
when  the  common  nippers  are  not 
strong  enough  to  resist  a  strain. 

Nip  the  tide.     (See  under  Neap.) 

Nock. — In  sail-making,  "  the  fore- 
most upper  corner  of  gaff-sails  and  of 
a  jib-shaped  sail  having  a  square  tack. " 
These  jib-shaped  sails  with  square  tack, 
as  if  a  large  piece  of  the  foremost  point 
had  been  cut  off,  are  now  rare,  though 
occasionally  seen  in  the  stay  sails  of  old  «>3 
vessels.  In  them  the  nock  runs  down  *~-  «i , 
the  forward  mast  as  shown  in  the  figure.      — >/' 



Nock  earing. — The  rope  fastening  the  nock  of  a  sail. 

Nog. — A  treenail  driven  through  the  heel  of  a  shore  (the  shore 
being  a  timber  supporting  a  vessel  on  the  slips).  The  shore  is  then 
said  to  be  nogged,  and  the  operation  is  called  nogging. 

Noggin. — A  small  cup  or  spirit  measure  of  about  a  quarter  of  a 

No  higher  (in  steering),  no  nearer  to  the  wind.  With  reference 
to  the  helm  this  actually  means  "a  little  more  high,"  i.e.,  that  the 
boat  is  getting  a  little  too  close  to  the  wind,  and  that,  therefore,  the 
helm  should  be  put  a  little  up,  or  towards  the  wind.  "No  higher"  is, 
therefore,  equivalent  to  helm  up,  bear  up,  etc.     (See  under  HELM. ) 

No  man's  land. — In  ships,  a  space  amidships,  but  neither  on 
the  starboard  nor  on  the  port  side,  from  which  circumstance  the  term 
is  supposed  to  be  derived. 

No  nearer  (Fr.,  pas  au  vent). — The  French  is  more  explanatory 
of  this  term  than  the  English.  It  is  practically  the  same  as  no- 
higher ;  being  an  order  to  a  steersman  not  to  go  so  close  to  the  wind 
as  to  decrease  the  speed  of  the  vessel.  A  boat  may  be  capable  of 
sailing  very  close  to  the  wind,  and  on  occasions  this  is  a  very  useful 
quality,  but  she  will  make  more  speed  by  being  kept  a  little  off. 
If  speed  is  desired,  therefore,  and  the  boat  is  getting  too  close  to  the 
wind,  it  will  be  well  to  keep  her  "  no  nearer,"  or  "  no  higher." 

Noose. — A  running  knot. 

Nore. — An  important  spit  of  shifting  sand  at  the  mouth  of  the 
river  Medway,  in  the  Thames  estuary,  and  at  the  head  of  which  is 
placed  the  well  known  Nore  lightship,  displaying  a  light  revolving 
once  in  every  30  sees.     It  is  the  first  passed  on  leaving  the  Thames. 

Norfolk  Broads. — A  tract  of  land  on  the  east  side  of  Nor- 
folk and  Suffolk,  penetrated  by  three  main  rivers — the  Yare,  the 
Waveney,  and  the  Bure — of  which  there  are  various  tributaries. 
These  rivers  widen 
out  in  parts  into 
large  meres  or 
open  spaces  called 
broads,  whence 
the  name  of  the 
district.  This  is 
the  happy  hunting 
ground  of  shoot- 
ing-men and  ama- 
teur yachtsmen, 
and  of  those  who 
love  an  open  space . 

Norfolk  wherry.  -*■— *=^- 
— A  sailing  barge  £6&Yienr 
peculiar     to     the  FlG-  *• 

rivers  of  the  "  Broads  "  district  of  Norfolk  and  Suffolk.      The  hull 
is  pointed  bow  and  stern,  but  the  bow  is  to  be  distinguished  by  the 



eye,  which  is  a  white  patch  painted  somewhat  in  the  form  of  a  boat's 
transom.  (See  fig.  1.)  The  wherry  has  one  mast,  and  carries  only 
one  sail  (being,  in  fact,  the  parent  of  the  popular  una  rig),  the  peak 
of  which  is  carried  up  to  a  great  height,  so  that  when  the  vessel 
penetrates  into  the  upper  reaches  of  the  rivers  where  the  trees  over- 
hang, and  the  banks  are  high,  this  peak  may  rise  above  them,  and, 
by  thus  catching  the  wind,  bring  it  down  into  the  body  of  the  sail, 
acting,  in  fact,  in  exactly  the  same  manner  as  the  topsail  of  a 
cutter.  And,  indeed,  it  may  be  shown  {see  fig.  2)  that  though  the 
Norfolk  wherry  actually  sets  no  topsail,  its  spread  of  canvas  is 
equivalent  to  that  of  craft  which  do:  by  hiding  (in  the  fig. )  the 
right-hand  or  cutter  mast  we  have  the  wherry  sail  ;  by  hiding  the 
left-hand  or  wherry  mast,  we 
have  the  main  and  topsail  of  the 
fishing  bawley  or  yacht.  The 
size  of  the  wherry  sail  is  also 
capable  of  increase  by  the  addi- 
tion of  a  bonnet,  laced  or  but- 
toned along  its  foot,  and  always 
used  with  fair  winds.  ( See  fig.  1 . ) 
Except  in  this  instance,  the 
bonnet  is  almost  obsolete.  The 
mast  of  the  wherry  works  in  a 
tabernacle :  it  is  without  shrouds 
or  any  support  beyond  the  fore- 
stay,  which  stay  also  acts  as  a 
fall  for  lowering  and  elevating 
it.  The  wherry  is  a  very  close- 
winded  vessel,  carrying  a  power- 
ful weather  helm,  and  is  unsurpassed  on  its  own  waters,  though 
experiments  have  shown  it  to  be  unsuccessful  elsewhere.  Its- 
burden  may  range  from  30  to  60  or  more  tons.  It  does  the  greater 
part  of  the  carrying  trade  of  the  district ;  and  of  late  years,  steam 
has  been  applied  to  it  with  tolerable  success. 

Norman. — A  short  bar  thrust  into  one  of  the  holes  in  a  capstan, 
so  that  a  turn  may  be  taken. 

North. — The  principal  of  the  four  cardinal  points  of  the  com- 
pass, and  on  the  mariner's  card  usually  marked  by  an  ornamented 
arrow  head  or  a  fleur  de  lys,  to  distinguish  it  from  all  the  others. 

Northing. — The  difference  of  latitude  made  by  a  ship  in  sailing 
northward  ;  or,  in  other  words,  the  distance  towards  the  north  made 
by  her  in  a  specified  time. 

Norwegian.  — Norwegian 
skiff. — A  boat  of  peculiar  form 
and  wonderful  buoyancy.   (See 


Norwegian  yawl. — A  Scan- 
dinavian  sailing    boat,   yawl  Nokwkgian  Ship's  Boat. 

Fig.  2.— Norfolk  whkrky. 



rigged,  and  notable  for  its  buoyancy.  It  is  said 
to  be  the  parent  of  the  peter  boat  (which  j  sec) . 
Smyth  speaks  of  it  as  follows : — "  This,  of  all 
small  boats,  is  said  to  be  the  best  calculated  for  a 
liigh  sea  ;  it  is  often  met  with  at  a  distance  from 
land,  when  a  stout  ship  can  hardly  cany  any  sail." 

Nose. — The  iron  piece  protecting  the  stem-head 
of  an  open  boat.     From  this,  the  foremost  point 
of  the  boat  itself  is  sometimes  called  the  nose. 
(See  accompanying  figure,  also  diagrams  under 
Fkame.  ) 

Nothing  off. — To  keep  a  boat  nothing  off, 
is  to  keep  her  head  right  on,  or  up  to  the  wind. 
{See  also  under  Helm.) 

Nun  buoy. — A  buoy  in  the  shape  of  a  double 
cone.     (See  fig.) 

Oakum. — The  substance  to  which  old  ropes 
are  reduced  when  unpicked.  It  is  used  in  caulking 
the  seams  of  boats,  and  in  stopping  leaks,  etc. 

Oar. — By  this  is  understood,  to-day,  the  single 
oar,  handled  by  one  man  alone,  in  contradistinction  to 
sculls,  which  go  in  pairs,  both  being  handled  by  the 
same  person.  The  oar  is  longer,  and,  therefore,  a  more 
powerful  lever  than  the  scull ;  but  it  is  found  in  practice 
that  a  given  number  of  men  propelling  a  boat  by  sculls 
make  considerably  greater  speed  than  the  same  crew 
using  oars.  The  propulsion  of  a  boat  by  means  of  oars 
is  called  voicing :  when  sculls  are  tised  it  is  no  longer 
rowing,  but  sculling.  This  distinction  is  of  importance 
to  those  who  would  wish  to  be  correct  in  their  rowing 
phraseology.  Sweeps  are  long  oars  used  by  sailing-boats, 
barges,  lighters,  etc.  (See  Sweep.)  The  oars  used  by 
fishermen  are  very  long  and  heavy,  with  very  long 
inboard.  They  are  difficult  to  use,  but  immense  power 
is  to  be  gained  with  them. 

The  parts  of  an  oar,  scull,  or  sweep  are  as  follow 
(see  fig.)  : — A  is  the  blade,  the  curve  in  which  is  called  the 
Jcather.  At  sea  oars  are  usually  without  the  feather  ;  but 
in  smooth  waters  it  is  almost  invariable.  B  is  the  neck  ; 
C  the  loom ;  D  the  grip.  By  some,  the  whole  distance 
included  from  blade  to  grip  is  called  the  loom,  if  not  fitted 
with  a  leather.  E  is  the  leather.  F  the  button.  The 
loom  of  an  oar  or  scull  may,  of  course,  be  shortened,  but 
it  may  also  be  lengthened  some  inches  in  the  following 
manner.  The  head  of  the  grip  being  pared  off  quite 
flat,  a  hole  is  bored  down  it  into  which  a  piece  of  hard 

Nun  Buoy. 






A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  189 

wood  (or  in  its  place  a  double-threaded  bolt)  is  firmly  fitted.  Anew  grip 
is  then  made,  in  which  a  hole  is  also  bored,  and  this  is  fitted  or  screwed 
on  to  the  old  grip,  the  joint  being  further  secured  by  the  aid  of  glue. 
This  is  frequently  done  on  the  Upper  Thames,  and  is  found  to  answer 
well  if  the  substance  of  the  oar  or  scull  is  stout  enough  to  admit  of  it. 

It  may  be  well  to  warn  purchasers  of  second-hand  oars  or  sculls 
to  be  wary  of  those  with  newly  painted  blades ;  the  paint  is 
occasionally  put  on  to  liide  flaws  or  knots. 

Back  oars. — To  press  backwards  on  the  oars  so  as  to  stop  the  pro- 
gress of  a  boat.     It  is  usually  called  backwater  (which  see). 

"  Get  your  oars  to  pass. " — An  old  expression  signifying  that  the 
oars  should  be  got  ready  for  rowing. 

Lay  on  the  oars. — To  pause  in  rowing  and  lay  the  oars  flat  just 
above  the  water.     It  is  the  same  as  to 

Rest  on  the  oars,  or,  in  other  words,  to  take  a  rest  in  rowing. 

Out  oars. — To  get  oars  out  ready  for  use. 

Ship  and  unship  oars. — To  ship  oars  is  to  place  them  in  the  row- 
locks ready  for  use :  to  unship,  to  take  them  out  of  their  rowlocks 
and  replace  them  in  the  boat  or  elsewhere.     (See  Ship.) 

Shove  your  oar  in. — To  intermeddle  ;  as,  Don't  shove  in  your  oar, 
i.e.,  Don't  meddle. 

Toss  oars. — To  lift  them  up  into  the  air,  all  together,  as  is  often 
done  in  the  Royal  Navy,  either  as  a  salute  or  preparatory  to  shipping 
or  unshipping. 

Oase. — See  Ooze. 

Ochre. — A  reddish  chalk  used  by  shipbuilders  in  marking  timbers 
when  forming  them. 

Off.  —  1.  In  general  nautical  conversation  this  word  means 
"  away  from  the  shore,"  thus  :  "  the  wind  is  blowing  off  "  signifies 
that  it  is  blowing  off  the  shore.  "  The  vessel  is  standing  off  " 
describes  her  as  withdrawing  from  the  land. 

Offward,  or  off,  is  often  expressed  of  a  vessel  aground  which  mav 
cant  "  offward, "  or  lie  "  with  her  stern  off. " 

2.  It  may  also  mean  near  to  or  abreast  of,  as  "  we  lay  off  Dover. " 

Off  and  on. — Nearing  and  withdrawing,  as  with  a  ship  tacking, 
which  stands  "  off  and  on  the  shore  "  alternately. 

Off  the  reel. — At  once,  quickly.  Just  as  the  log  Line  would  hut 
off  the  reel.     (.See  Log.) 

Off  the  wind. — Sailing  with  the  wind  abaft  the  beam.  (Compare 
this  with  On  the  u;ind. ) 

Offing. — Those  aboard  vessels  lying  in  a  bay  or  harbour  speak  of 
the  offing,  meaning  thereby  the  outside  sea,  where  the  water  is  deep 
and  the  force  of  a  gale  is  felt.  It  may,  under  other  circumstances , 
denote  any  part  of  the  sea  at  a  distance. 

To  keep  a  good  offing  is  to  keep  well  off  some  shore. 

Nothing  off. — To  keep  a  boat  right  on,  that  is,  as  near  to  the  wind 
as  she  will  bear. 

Oil. — "  Oil  on  troubled  waters. " — It  is  a  well-known  fact  that  a 
few  drops  of  oil  dropping  from  a  bladder  placed  over  a  ship's  stern 

190  A    DICTION AKY    OF    SEA    TEEMS. 

will  smooth  the  surface  of  the  sea,  where  the  waves  are  breaking, 
and  prevent  them  from  overrunning  her,  the  reason  being  that  the 
friction  of  the  wind  upon  the  waves  is  reduced.  A  treatise  upon  its 
use  will  be  found  in  Lloyd's  "  Seaman's  Almanac,"  1897. 

Oil-shins,  or  oileys. — '  Oileys  "  is  the  fisherman's  term  for  oilskin 
clothes,  used  in  rainy  or  rough  weather.  These  men  sometimes  make 
their  own  "oileys,"  and  formerly  always  did  so;  but  of  late  years 
they  have  become  cheap  enough  to  save  the  necessity  of  doing  this. 
The  manner  in  which  these  suits  were  made  was  very  simple  :  having 
been  cut  out  of  coarse  calico,  and  made  up,  they  were  steeped  in 
linseed  oil  and  then  hung  out  on  a  bine,  being  constantly  reversed 
until  quite  dry.  This  was  generally  done  in  the  spring,  to  allow 
the  oil  ample  time  to  diy  before  the  following  winter,  it  often 
taking  several  months.  Everyone  boating  or  yachting  during  the 
winter  should  be  possessed  of  a  suit  of  oilskins 

Oil  motors  (for  boats).  —  These  are  coming  considerably  into 
vogue,  but  have  to  compete  with  both  steam  and  electricity.  There 
is  no  doubt,  however,  that  their  convenience  is  very  great,  and 
that  their  future  is  very  promising.  The  advantages  of  oil  over 
steam  should  be  freedom  from  soot,  economy  of  space,  and  the 
capability  of  getting  up  power  in  a  few  minutes.  Against  this 
there  is  smell  (though  it  cannot  be  said  that  the  steam  engine  is  want- 
ing in  this  respect),  and  especially  want  of  power.  A  small  steam 
engine  of,  say,  6  horse  power  nominal,  may,  upon  emergency,  be 
pushed  to  12,  or  even  18  h.p.,  and  becomes  a  very  powerful  machine. 
An  oil-motor,  on  the  other  hand,  of  6  h.p.  nominal  can  never  be 
made  to  reach  even  its  nominal  power.  The  power  of  oil  motors  is 
expressed  in  brake  horse  power — that  is,  in  the  power  actually  given 
off  from  the  flywheel :  about  20  per  cent,  must  be  taken  off  this  to 
arrive  at  the  actual  working  power.  Priestmans'  or  the  Daimler 
patterns  of  oil  motor  appear  to  be  as  good  as  any,  but  it  is  im- 
possible, in  the  face  of  daily  improvements,  to  recommend  any  one 
over  another.  Oil  motors  have  been  successfully  applied  to  launches, 
North  Sea  fishing  vessels,  small  open  boats,  and  even  to  lifeboats. 

Old  boats. — Beware  of  them. 

Old  horse.— Old  salt  beef.     (Sec  Horse.) 

Oleron.—  Laics  of  Oleron.  —  "Certain  laws  of  the  Navy  or 
Marine  which  were  framed  and  drawn  up  by  Richard  I.  at  the  island 
of  Oleron,  near  the  coast  of  Poictou,  the  inhabitants  of  which  have 
been  deemed  able  mariners  for  these  seven  hundred  years  past. 
These  sea  laws,  which  have  been  reckoned  the  most  excellent  of  the 
kind,  are  recorded  in  the  Black  Book  of  the  Admiralty." 

On.  —  The  opposite  to  "off."  So  the  wind  may  be  "on  the 
shore  " — i.e.,  blowing  towards  it.  In  sailing  we  may  have  the  wind 
on  the  beam,  on  the  bow,  or  on  the  quarter,  terms  which  will  explain 

To  be  on. — To  be  in  the  act  of  doing  something.  Thus  we  may 
say,  "  There  is  a  high  sea  on." 

A   DICTIONAKY    OF    SEA    TEEMS.  191 

To  be  sailing  on  the  wind  is  to  be  sailing  with  the  wind  before  the 
beam,  and  therefore  close-hauled.  (Compare  this  with  Off  the  wind.) 
In  square-rigged  ships  this  is  called  sailing  on  a  taut  bowline. 

On  end. — The  same  as  "  an  end" — i.e.,  the  position  of  any  spar 
when  standing  upright,  or  when  set,  as  a  topmast  which  is  "  an 
end  "  when  swayed  and  fidded. 

End  on. — Meeting  a  vessel  on  end.     (See  END-ON.) 

"One,  two,  three  and  belay!" — The  song  with  which  the 
seamen  bowse  out  the  bowlines ;  the  last  hauling  being  completed  by 
"  Belay  oh  !" 

Ooze. — The  thin  mud  which  settles  along  the  banks  of  certain 
rivers.  It  is  so  light  as  almost  to  float,  and  is  sometimes  of  un- 
fathomable depth. 

Open. — Open  boat. — A  boat  absolutely  without  decking. 

Open  hawse.  —  A  clear  cable  (when  a  vessel  is  riding  by  two 
anchors. ) 

Open  roadstead. — A  hazardous  refuge,  offering  but  poor  protection 
to  vessels. 

Open  sea. — The  same  as  the  high  sea — i.e.,  beyond  the  three  mile 
limit  over  which  a  country  claims  jurisdiction. 

Opposite  tacks. — Two  vessels,  one  on  the  port  tack,  the  other 
on  the  starboard,  are  said  to  be  on  "  opposite  tacks."  Hence,  in 
general  conversation,  when  two  persons  are  at  cross  purposes,  the 
same  is  often  said  of  them. 

Ordinary  seaman. — "  The  rating  of  one  who  can  make  him- 
self useful  on  board,  even  to  going  aloft,  and  taking  his  part  on  a 
topsail  or  top-gallant  yard,  but  is  not  a  complete  sailor,  the  latter 
being  termed  an  able  seaman."    (Smyth.) 

Orient — The  East ;  or  the  eastern  point  of  the  horizon. 

Orlop  (from  "  over-lop."). — Orlop  beams. — Beams  in  a  ship,  ex- 
tending across  the  lower  part  of  the  hold,  and  therefore  often 
called  hold  beams.  (See  diagram  under  Frame.)  They  sometimes 
support  that  which  is  called  the  orlop  deck,  which  may  be  the  lowest 
deck  in  a  ship,  or  a  temporary  platform  forming  a  sort  of  deck.  In 
the  old  warships  certain  of  the  store  rooms  were  on  this  deck,  and, 
in  frigates,  the  midshipmen's  berth. 

Out. — In  the  offing  :  at  a  distance.  Away  from  the  shore. 
Thus  "  there  is  a  good  breeze  out "  means  that  there  is  a  good  breeze 
out  in  the  offing,  though  it  may  not  be  felt  on  shore.  The  vessel 
is  standing  out,"  she  is  sailing  away  from  the  shore. 

Outside  has  something  of  the  same  meaning,  and  implies  "  out  at 
sea  "  :  generally  spoken  by  those  in  a  harbour  or  river,  as  "it  blows 
hard  outside, "  which  would  mean  that  it  was  blowing  hard  at  sea, 
though  not,  possibly,  felt  in  the  haven  ;  or  "  we  are  going  outside," 
we  are  going  outside  the  river  into  the  sea,  etc. 

Out  board. —  Board  means  the  side  of  a  vessel,  therefore  "out 
board"  means  outside  her,  or  beyond  the  gunwale.  Thus  a  bow- 
sprit runs  outboard,  etc. 

192  A    DICTIONABY    OF    SEA    TEBMS. 

Out-class. — One  vessel  is  said  to  "  out-class"  another  when,  as  a 
result  of  more  modem  improvements,  she  is  greatly  superior  to 
another  in  her  own  class. 

"  Out  or  down!" — A  threat  sometimes  used  at  sea  hy  one  sum- 
moning another  to  his  watch — "  Out  you  get,  or  down  goes  your 
hammock  !" 

Out-haul. — A  rope  which  hauls  out  something,  as  the  jib  outhaul 
does  the  tack  of  the  jib.     (See  3 IB.) 

Outer  jib. — One  of  the  head  sails  of  a  ship.  (See  Jib.)  Large 
vessels  usually  set  two  standing  jibs,  the  outer  and  the  inner. 

Outlielcer,  or  outlier. — Corruptions  of  outrigger  (which  see). 

Out  port. — A  port  on  the  coast  of  the  united  Kingdom  away 
from  London,  or  from  a  ship's  headquarters. 

Out-regan. — A  canal  or  ditch  navigable  by  boats. 

Outside  planking.  —  The  outer  strakes  of  a  vessel,  which  are 
variously  named,  as  the  garboard  strakes,  wales,  etc.  (See  diagrams 
under  FRAME.) 

Out  of  trim. — The  state  of  a  ship  not  properly  balanced  in  the 
water.     (See  Trim.) 

Outer  turns  and  inner  turns. — Expressions  used  with  regard  to 
square  sails.  "  The  outer  turns  of  the  earing  serve  to  extend  the 
sail  outwards  along  its  yard.  The  inner  turns  are  employed  to  bind 
the  sail  close  to  the  yard."     (Smyth.) 

Out-rig. — To  extend  anything  out  from  the  side  of  a  vessel ;  hence, 

Outrigger. — A  projecting  piece  from  any  part  of  a  vessel,  which 
serves  to  give  greater  leverage  or  base  to  oars,  ropes,  sails,  etc. 
(See  also  CHANNELS. )  Thus  a  small  boomkin  (or  bumpkin),  such  as  is 
often  used  for  the  working  of  a  mizzen,  is  sometimes  called  an  out- 
rigger. The  term,  however,  has  a  more  familiar  application  in  the 
case  of  rowing  boats,  and  more  especially  those  used  for  racing. 
In  these,  outriggers  are  light  projecting  brackets  supporting  the  row- 
locks, and  giving  a  vastly  greater  length  of  leverage  for  the  oars  or 
sculls.  On  rivers  they  are  now  always  employed,  and  of  late  years 
have  often  been  adopted  in  pleasure  skiffs,  when,  however,  they 
project  in  a  lesser  degree  and  are  known  as  half-outriggers:  but 
these  skiffs  are  less  convenient  in  crowded  or  narrow  waterways 
than  those  Avhich  are  in-rigged,  that  is,  which  have  the  rowlocks 
(or  tholes)  on  the  gunwale  or  saxboard.  A  boat  fitted  with  out- 
riggers is  usually  called  "  an  outrigger."     (See  diagram  under  Rig.) 

Outward  bound. — A  ship  on  its  voyage  away  from  home. 

Ouvre  l'oeil. — "  Amarkon  French  charts  over  supposed  dangers. " 

Over. — Over  ancnt. — "  Opposite  to."  Thus  a  boat  lying  at 
Gravesend  may  talk  of  another  "  over  anent  "  Tilbury  Pier. 

Over-bear. — One  vessel  overbears  another  if  she  carries  more  sail 
in  a  fresh  breeze. 

Overboard. — Over  the  side  of  the  ship.  The  "  board,"  in  nautical 
phraseology,  means  the  side. 

Overblow  (of  the  wind). — To  blow  so  hard  that  a  vessel  can  carry 
no  topsails. 

A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEEMS.  193 

Overcast. — 1.  (Of  the  weather). — Cloudy:  the  ,  sun  not  seen. 
2.  In  ship-building, to  overcast  is  to  measure  up — hence, 

Overcasting  staff. — A  measuring  staff  used  by  ship-wrights. 

Overfall. — The  eastern-county  name  for  certain  banks  or  shoals 
near  the  surface  of  the  sea,  such  as  Blakeney  Overfall ;  Sherringham 
•Overfall  ;  Stuky  Overfall,  near  the  Norfolk  coast.  Also  another 
name  for  a  tide-rip  or  race  (ivhich  see). 

Overgrown. — A  term  occasionally  used  for  an  exceptionally  high  sea. 

Overhand  (in  knots). — A  simple  knot  made  by  passing  the  end 
of  a  rope  over  its  standing  part,  and  then  through  the  bight.  It 
may  also  be  called  a  thumb-knot.     (See  Knots.) 

Hand  over  hand  (In  hauling  on  a  rope). — Hauling  in  quickly  and 
■with  one  hand  passed  alternately  over  the  other. 

Overhaul. — 1.  To  examine  or  inspect. 

2.  To  catch  up  or  overtake. 

To  overhaul  a  rope. — To  slacken  it  off. 

To  overhaul  a  tackle. — To  open  out  or  extend  its  parts — that  is, 
its  blocks  and  ropes — so  that  they  may  be  made  use  of  again, 
when  they  have  been  brought  close  up,  or  fleeted. 

Over-launching. — Scarfing  or  splicing  one  timber  over  another  to 
strengthen  the  two. 

Over-masted.  — A  boat  is  thus  described  when  her  masts  are  too 
long,  which  in  yachts  is  not  of  rare  occurrence.  In  such  cases 
masts  are  cut  down,  and  often  with  great  benefit  to  the  boat. 

Over-pressed. — A  vessel  carrying  too  much  sail. 

Over-rake  (of  the  waves  of  the  sea). — When  the  waves  break  over 
a  vessel  at  anchor  they  are  sometimes  said  to  over-rake  her. 

Over-rate. — A  racing  yacht  or  sailing  boat  is  said  to  be  over-rated 
when  she  is  too  much  handicapped.  Hence,  a  person  of  whom  too 
high  an  opinion  is  held,  is  spoken  of  in  the  same  manner. 

Over-rigged. — Spoken  of  a  vessel  having  more  or  heavier  gear 
than  necessary. 

Over-risen. — Too  high  out  of  the  water. 

Over-run. — When  the  waves  overtake  a  vessel  and  come  in  upon 
her,  they  are  said  to  over-run  her. 

Over-sea. — From  a  foreign  port. 

Over-shoot. — To  give  a  vessel  too  much  way,  so  that,  in  coming  up 
to  a  mooring  or  pier,  she  misses  the  mark  and  shoots  beyond  it. 

Over  and  under  turns  (of  square  sails). — Terms  applied  to  the 
passing  (securing)  of  an  earing.  There  are  also  the  outer  and  inner 
turns,  etc. 

Ox. — Ox  bows — Bends,  or  reaches,  in  a  river. 

Ox-eye. — A  name  given  by  mariners  to  a  small  cloud  or  meteor, 
seen  at  the  Cape  of  Good  Hope,  etc.,  which  presages  a  dreadful 
storm.  It  appears  at  first  in  the  form  or  size  of  an  ox's-eye,  but 
descends  with  such  celerity  that  it  seems  suddenly  to  overspread  the 
whole  hemisphere,  and  at  the  same  time  forces  the  air  with  such 
violence,  that  ships  are  sometimes  scattered  several  ways,  some 
•directly  contrary,  and  many  sunk  downright.     (Falconer.) 


194  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

Oyster. — Oyster-laying. — A  place,  either  in  the  sea  or  in  some 
river,  where  oysters  are  hred  or  fattened. 

Oyster  dredge. — The  implement  with  which  the  "  dredger  man  " 
drags  the  bottom  of  a  "  laying  "  for  oysters.     In  old  days  he  often 
accompanied  his  labours  by  a  monotonous  chant,  Avhich  also  served 
to  charm  the  oysters  into  his  dredge.     Hence  the  old  lines  : — 
"  The  herring  loves  the  moonlight, 
The  mackerel  loves  the  wind  ; 
The  oyster  loves  the  dredgerman's  song, 
For  he  comes  of  a  gentle  kind." 


Packet. — A  small  passenger  or  mail  boat.  "  This  word  meant 
originally  a  vessel  appointed  by  Government  to  carry  the  mails 
between  the  mother  country  and  foreign  countries  or  her  own 
dependencies."     (Brande  and  Cox.) 

Pad,  or  pad-piece. — A  piece  of  timber  laid  (when  required)  upon 
the  beams  of  a  vessel  to  form  the  lateral  curve  (or  camber)  in  the 
form  of  the  deck.     (See  diagrams  under  Frame.) 

Paddle. — The  oar  or  propeller  used  by  canoeists,  and  having 
its  origin  among  savage  nations ;  it  may  have  a  blade  at  one  or  both 
ends.  To  paddle,  therefore,  in  canoeing,  is  to  propel  the  boat  with 
the  paddle. 

Paddle  boat-hook. — A  boat-hook  and  paddle  combined.  It  forms 
part  of  the  inventory  of  an  Upper  Thames  pleasure  skiff,  and  is  a 
very  useful  implement.     {See  Bo AT-HOOK. ) 

To  paddle  in  rowing  with  oars  or  sculls  has  another  meaning, 
viz.  :  to  row  easily,  i.e.,  not  at  a  high  speed. 

Paddles  (on  a  steam  boat). — Tbe  flat  boards  on  the  propelling 
wheels  ;  though  the  wheels  are  occasionally  spoken  of  as  the  paddles  ; 
and  the  coverings  over  the  wheels  are  called  the  paddle  boxes. 

Paddle  boat. — A  steam  vessel  propelled  by  paddle-wheels. 

Paddy's  hurricane. — A  dead 
calm ;  or,  at  best,  a  breeze  in- 
sufficient to  float  a  pennant. 

Painter.  —  A  rope  attached 
usually  to  a  ring  inside  the  stem- 
post  of  an  open  boat,  by  which  it 
may  be  made  fast  alongside  a 
quay,  etc. 

"  Cut  your  painter." — A  slang  expression  for  "Be  off  !  " 

Pair-oar. — A  boat  rowed  by  one  pair  of  oars.  It  was  also  the 
name  sometimes  given  to  the  old  London  wherry. 

Palm. — In  sail-making,  a  contrivance  for  taking  the  place  of  a. 
thimble,  and  used  by  seamen  and  sail-makers.  It  fits  the  ball  of  the 
thumb  and  palm  of  the  hand. 

Palm  of  an  anchor. — The  flattened  side  of  the  fluke.  {See  ANCHOR.  > 



Pandoor. — A  huge  foreign  oyster. 

Parallel  sailing  (at  sea). — Sailing  on  a  circle  parallel  to  the 

Parallels  of  latitude. — Lines  drawn  round  the  earth  parallel  to 
the  Equator. 

Parbuckle. — A  method  of  lifting  a  cask  or  some  other  heavy 
object,  by  doubling  a  rope  into  two  legs,  passing  them  under  the 
object  and  hauling  on  both  together. 

Parcel. — To  parcel  rope.     (See  Worm,  Parcel  and  Serve.) 

Farclose. — The  limber-holes  in  a  vessel  are  occasionally  called 
by  this  name. 

Parliament- heel. — "  A  term  used  to  imply  the  situation  of  a 
ship  when  she  is  made  to  stoop  a  little  to  one  side,  so  as  to  clean  the 
upper  part  of  her  bottom  on  the  other 
side,  and  cover  it  with  a  fresh  composi- 
tion." (Falconer.)  But  the  term  often 
means  only  a  slight  heel,  as  when  a 
vessel  lays  over  under  canvas. 

Parrel. — Generally  speaking,  any 
apparatus  which  keeps  a  yard  to  its 
mast.  Thus  the  parrel  of  a  gaff  is  a 
rope  upon  which  is  strung  a  row  of 
hard  wooden  balls  and  encircling  the 
mast,  the  ends  being  attached  to  eacli 
jaw  of  the  gaff.  (See  fig.  1,  also  under 
Gaff.)  The  parrel  of  a  lug  sail  may 
be  either  an  iron  ring  on  the  mast  or 
a  loop  made  in  the  halyard.  (See 
Lug.)  The  rib-and-truek  parrel  was 
a  device  often  used  in  old  ships,  and 
may  still  be  occasionally  seen.  It  con- 
sisted of  a  number  of  battens  or  ribs, 
between  each  of  which  a  series  of 
trucks  (small  wooden  balls)  were 
strung  (see  fig.  2.).  The  lines  being 
unreeved,  these  parts  would  fall  into 
a  number  of  disjointed  pieces.  Hence 
the  term  "ribs  and  trucks  "  is  some- 
times used  to  mean  mere  fragments. 

Fart. — To  part. — To  be  driven  from  the  anchors;  said  of  a  ship 
when  she  breaks  her  cable. 

Standing  part  and  running  part. — Parts  of  a  rope  in  use.  (See 
under  each  heading  and  under  Tackle.) 

Partners.— The  framework  which  supports  the  mast  by  the 
deck.     (See  Mast.) 

Pass. — A  term  used  by  seamen  to  express  the  accomplishment  of 
something,  as  to  pass  the  gaskets,  topass  a  lashing,  i.e.,  to  take  turns 
with  a  rope  round  a  yard,  etc. 

O  2 

Fig.  2. 

196  A    DICTIONARY    OP    SEA    TERMS. 

Fasse  volant. — "  A  name  applied  by  the  French  to  a  quaker  or 
wooden  gun  on  board  ship ;  but  it  was  adopted  by  our  early 
voyagers  as  also  expressing  a  movable  piece  of  ordnance. "  (Smyth.) 

Passenger.— A  person  carried  in  a  ship,  but  who  does  no  work 
in  her.  Persons  taken  in  pleasure  boats  are  sometimes  called  thus, 
and  if,  in  the  course  of  a  rowing  match,  any  rower  becomes  disabled 
he  is  said  to  have  become  a  passenger. 

Pattens. — {See  Mud  Pattens.) 

Pawl,  or  drop  pawl. — A  small  stop,  or  catch,  which  prevents  a 
moving  object  from  going  beyond  a  certain  Limit,  such  as  the  pawl  of  a 
rack  wheel,  which  stops  the  wheel  from  running  backward  ;  the  pawl 
of  a  capstan,  which  acts  in  the  same  manner  ;  a  mast  pawl,  which  con- 
fines a  lowering  mast  in  its  place  ;  a  rowlock  pawl,  which  may  be  a 
metal  catch  or  merely  a  piece  of  rope  across  a  pair  of  rowlocks  pre- 
venting an  oar  from  being  dislodged,  etc. 

Pawl  bits. — Timber  to  which  the  pawls  of  a  large  capstan  are 

Pay. — To  give  a  coating  of  paint,  tar,  or  any  other  material  to 
anything  requiring  it.  Thus  a  ship's  bottom  may  be  payed  with 
pitch  ;  a  rope  with  tar  ;  a  spar  with  grease,  etc.  So  also  topay  a 
seam  of  the  decking  of  a  vessel  is  to  pour  melted  pitch  into  the 

Pay  away. — To  slacken  off;  usually  said  of  a  rope,  or  the  sheet  of 
a  sail,  when  it  requires  to  be  loosened  out. 

Pay  off. — 1.  In  the  Royal  Navy,  to  pay  the  men's  wages  and 
dismiss  them.  2.  In  sailing,  to  allow  a  vessel's  head  to  fall  a'lee — 
i.e.,  away  from  the  wind.  Thus  it  is  under  some  circumstances  the 
same  as  pay  away — except  that  it  refers  directly  to  the  boat  and  not 
to  any  particular  part  of  her  rigging.  Sometimes,  in  tacking,  a  boat's 
head  refuses  to  pay  off :  at  such  times  she  may  be  assisted  by 
holding  the  headsails  to  windward.  If  she  does  not  then  come 
round  she  becomes  "hung  up  in  the  wind."     {See  Tack.) 

Pay  out  (of  a  cable  or  any  other  rope). — To 
slacken  it  out.  Almost  equivalent  to  pay  away. 
Sometimes  to  pay  out  means  to  slacken  away 
gradually,  bit  by  bit,  instead  of  letting  the  rope 
or  cable  go  off  as  it  will. 

Pay  round. — To  turn  a  vessel's  head  round, 
away  from  the  wind,  as  in  paying  off. 

Peak.— 1.  The  upper  end  of  a  gaff.  But  it 
is  also  the  uppermost  corner  of  a  sail  carried 
by  a  gaff. 

Peak  halyards  are  the  halyards  which  elevate 
the  peak.  They  usually  consist  of  a  tackle. 
The  rope  being  first  secured  to  the  gaff  at  a 
point  not  far  distant  from  the  peak,  passes 
through  a  block  at  the  mast  head,  thence  to 
a   block  lower   down  the    gaff,   back    again    to  Peak. 



another  block  on  the  mast,  then  down  to  the  deck,  where  it  is 
belayed  in  small  craft,  usually  to  the  port  (left-hand)  side  of  the 
mast.  The  pendants  of  the  peak  halyards  are  those  parts  of  the 
rope  which  run  between  the  mast  and  the  gaff.  When  the  mainsail, 
having  been  lowered,  is  to  be  covered  with  the  sail  cloth,  these 
pendants  must  be  detached,  and  either  hooked  to  slings  or  strops 
which  pass  under  the  boom,  or  looped  round  the  boom  as  it  rests 
on  the  cratches. 

Peak  line.— A.  small  rope  passing  through  a  block  at  the  guy  end 
of  the  gaff.  It  is  sometimes  called  the  flag  halyard,  because  the 
ensign  or  some  other  flag  is  often  hoisted  at  the  peak  as  a  signal. 
The  peak  line  is  also  much  employed  to  haul  down  the  peak  when 
the  gaff  jams. 

Peak  purchase. — In  large  vessels,  a  purchase  applied  to  the  peak 
halyards  to  swing  them  up  taxit. 

2.  The  peak,  on  the  fluke  of  an  anchor,  is  the  apex  of  the  fluke. 
It  is  often  called  the  bill.     (See  Anchor.) 

The  anchor  a'pcak. — The  anchor  brought  to  such  a  position  that 
it  stands  perpendicularly  on  the  ground.     (See  ANCHOR.) 

To  stay  peak,  or  ride  a  short  peak  or  long  peak  (of  old  ships). — 
When  the  cable  and  forestay  were  in  about  the  same  straight  line 
it  was  a  short  peak.  With  the  main  stay  and  cable  in  a  line,  it  was 
a  long  peak. 

To  peak. — To  raise  a  yard  or  gaff  obliquely  to  its  mast. 

Fore  peak. — A  place  in  the  fore  part  of  some  small  vessels  in 
which  stores  may  be  kept. 

Pegging  to  windward. — Making  a  dead  peg  to  windward. 
The  same  as  working  to  windward.     (See  under  Beat.  ) 

Fencel. — A  small  stream- 

er, wheft,  or  pennant. 
Pendant,   or  pennant 

(pronounced  "  pennant  "). — 
1.  A  long  pointed  flag, 
usually  a  signal,  as  the 
answering  pennant  in  the  In- 
ternational Signal  Code,  or 
the  eonimodore's  broad  pen- 
nant in  the  Royal  Navy. 

2.  (In  rigging.) — It  must 
be  understood  that  a  hal- 
yard is  often  a  tackle,  the 
ropes  of  which  are  often 
distinguished  into  two  parts 

Commodore's  Bro«.i  "P«,C 

-(1)  the  pendant,  or   that  Tftckie. 

part  which  runs  between 
the  blocks,  and  (2)  the  fall, 
which  is  the  part  hauled 
upon.  Thus  the  fore  pendant 
Is  that    part    of    the    fore 


198  A    DICTION ABY    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

halyard  which  runs  out  from  the  mast-head  to  the  stemhead,  when 
the  foresail  is  down.  The  jib  pendant.— The  same  out-running 
part  of  the  jib-halyard.  Peak  pendants. — Those  parts  of  the  peak 
halyards  which  run  out  between  the  masthead  and  the  gaff.  And, 
since  these  parts  of  the  halyards  are  called  pendants,  so  may  the 
bob-stay  ropes  be  counted  in  the  list,  which  includes  several — and, 
in  ships,  a  large  number  of  others. 

But  there  are  also  other  pendants,  which  are  short  hanging  ropes, 
un  connected  with  blocks,  used  for  a  variety  of  purposes,  as  reef 
pendants — short  lines  sometimes  rove  through  cringles  on  the 
leech  of  a  sail  at  the  time  of  reefing,  or  sometimes  hanging  per- 
manently, their  office  being  to  lash  down  the  clew  of  the  sail,  prior 
to  reefing.  And,  in  this  sense,  the  tack,  which  is  a  short  rope 
hanging  from  the  tack  of  a  fore-and-aft  sail,  for  hauling  the  tack 
down,  is  also  a  pendant. 

People. — At  sea,  a  ship's  company  was  always  known  by  this 
term,  more  particularly  in  the  Royal  Navy ;  but  it  did  not  include 
the  commissioned  officers. 

Peter  boat. — A  row  and  sailing  boat,  short,  pointed  bowandstern, 
almost  half-decked,  and  having  a  sort  of  well  in  which  to  keep  fish. 
It  is  used  by  the  fresh-water  fishermen  of  the  Thames.  Formerly 
there  was  a  considerable  fishery  for  smelt,  lamprey,  and  various 
fresh  and  salt  water  fish  above  and 
below  London,  and  these  peter  boats 
were  largely  employed.  Of  late  years, 
however,  although  a  few  are  to  be  seen  »_  <A 
in  the  upper  reaches,  they  are  becoming 
scarce.    (See  also  under  HEBBING. )    The 

below-bridge  peter  boats  were  of  larger  4»  <?,.-"■ 

size   than  those  used  higher  up,  but  of  '? -~.     -1^       petrrSoa-f 

the  same  class.      The  peter  boat  is  so 

named  after  St.  Peter,  the  patron  of  fishermen.  They  originate 
from  Norway  and  the  Baltic  (see  Norwegian  Yawl),  where  they 
are  said  to  have  been  no  more  than  25ft.  in  length,  with  6ft.  of 
beam.  "Yet,"  says  Smyth,  "in  such  craft,  boys  were  wont 
to  serve  out  seven  years'  apprenticeship,  scarcely  ever  going  on 

Peter  man. — 1.  "  One  who  fishes  in  the  river  of  Thames  with  an 
unlawful  engine."  (Bailey,  18th  century.)  2.  "  The  Dutch  fishing 
vessels  that  frequsntsd  our  eastern  coast."     (Smyth.) 

Pharos. — In  popular  language,  a  lighthouse  ;  but  the  word  has 
almost  gone  out  of  use.  It  was  derived  from  the  great  light  tower 
erected  on  the  island  of  Pharos  at  the  mouth  of  the  harbour  of 
Alexandria,  and  which  came  to  be  looked  upon  as  one  of  the 
wonders  of  the  world. 

Pick. — Picking  up  a  wind. — Going  out  of  one's  course  to  find  a 
wind.  The  practice  is  common  with  sailing  ships  when  passing  from 
one  trade  wind  to  the  other. 

A   DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  199 

Pickle. — Any  artificial  preservative  or  preparation  for  metal  or 
wood.  Iron  is  pickled,  that  is,  steeped,  in  sulphuric  acid  and  water 
before  being  galvanised.  Wood  may  be  payed  with  a  coating  of 
ereasote  or  sulphate  of  copper,  which  preserves  it  against  wet  or  dry, 
barnacles,  etc.  ;  and  this  also  may  be  called  a  pickling. 

Pier. — Piers  may  be  either  of  wood,  iron  or  stone,  and  are 
erected  either  to  facilitate  the  landing  of  passengers  and  goods  from 
vessels  ;  as  breakwaters  ;  or  solely  as  pleasure  promenades.  Those 
made  of  stone  are  often  called  moles,  more  especially  when  of  great 
width.  Of  the  first  sort  the  pier  of  Southend,  at  the  mouth  of  the 
Thames,  may  be  noted  ;  it  is  the  longest  in  the  kingdom,  probably 
in  the  world.  At  Tynemouth  is  a  long  stone  pier,  or  narrow  mole, 
which  serves  as  a  breakwater  at  the  mouth  of  the  great  northern 
river.  Pleasure  piers  are  to  be  found  at  Brighton,  Hastings,  and 
other  seaside  resorts.  A  small  pier,  at  which  goods  may  be  landed 
from  barges  and  such  like  craft,  is  sometimes  called  a  jetty  (which 
see).  Piles  are  sometimes  called  piers  because  they  support  a  weight, 
as  do  the  piers,  or  pillars,  of  a  church. 

Pig  (of  iron). — Pig  iron  is  very  useful  as  ballast  for  a  sailing  boat, 
and  has  this  advantage,  that  it  is  cheap. 

Piggin. — A  little  pail  with  a  long  handle.  It  may  be  a  baler 
or  what  not. 

Pike. — A  bar  of  iron,  or  a  bar  of  wood  shod  with  iron  ;  origin- 
ally used  in  boarding  an  enemy's  vessel.  In  military  affairs  it 
was  used  until  the  introduction  of  the  bayonet. 

Pil,  or  pyll  (perhaps  from  the  Dutch). — "  A  creek  subject  to 
the  tide." 

Pile. — A  piece  of  timber  or  iron,  driven,  with  others,  into  the 
ground  or  into  the  bed  of  a  river,  for  the  support  of  a  pier,  bridge, 
etc.  The  following  is  mainly  from  Brande  and  Cox's  "  Dictionary  of 
Science,  Literature,  etc.  " :  "  They  may  be  round  or  square,  and  when 
of  wood  must  be  of  a  quality  which  does  not  rot  under  water,  or 
which  is  able  to  resist  the  attack  of  the  Teredo  navalis,  and  other 
boring  worms  or  insects.  Oak,  elm,  fir,  hacmatac,  green-heart, 
etc.,  are  the  woods  most  generally  employed  for  the  purpose.  The 
end  of  the  pile  that  enters  the  ground  is,  in  these  cases,  pointed  and 
shod  with  iron  ;  and  the  top  of  it  is  bound  with  a  strong  iron  hoop 
to  prevent  the  piles  being  split,  or  their  heads  beaten  up  to  a 
kind  of  pulp,  by  the  violent  strokes  of  the  monkey  by  which  they 
are  driven  down.  Iron  piles  are  now  much  used,  and  they  are  made 
large  enough  to  allow  the  foundation  to  be  carried  down  to  the 
bottom  of  their  penetration . " 

1.  Pile-driver. — "An  engine  for  driving  piles.  It  consists  of 
a  large  monkey,  or  block  of  cast  iron,  which  slides  between  two 
guide  posts.  Being  drawn  up  to  the  top  of  its  course,  and  then 
let  fall  from  a  considerable  height,  it  comes  down  upon  the 
head  of  the  pile  with  a  violent  blow,  proportioned  to  the  weight 
of  the  monkey  multiplied  by  the  height,    diminished,    of  course, 



by  the  friction  that  the  monkey  meets  with  in  its  descent."  It 
may  be  worked  by  hand  or  by  steam  :  the  monkey  is  lifted  with  a 
catch-hook,  which,  as  it  reaches  the  top  of  the  machine,  is  caught 
by  a  spring  and  disconnected,  thus  allowing  the  weight  to  drop 
automatically.  In  some  cases,  where  the  nature  of  the  soil  will 
allow  of  it,  screw  piles  are  employed.  These  are  round  iron  piles 
to  which  are  fitted  large  screw  flanges  ;  and  the  pile  being  turned  Try 
machinery  screws  itself  to  the  desired  depth.  Southend  pier,  at  the 
mouth  of  the  Thames,  is  supported  entirely  upon  screw  piles,  a 
distance  of  a  mile  and  a  quarter. 

2.  Pile-driver  (of  ships). — A  name  given  to  a  vessel  which  pitches 
heavily  in  a  sea  way. 

Pilot. — A  man  qualified  and  licensed  to  take  ships  in  or  out  of  a 
harbour,  or  channel,  at  certain  fixed  rates.  The  pilot  is  absolute 
master  of  a  vessel  while  in  "  pilot  water  " — the  latter  term  meaning 
the  water  in  which  he  pilots  the  ship— his  fees  being  calculated  upon 
the  ship's  draught  of  water.  The  origin  of  the  pilot's  office  is  to  be 
found,  according  to  Wedgwood,  in  the  word  peilen,  to  sound ;  his  duty 
before  the  existence  of  charts  being  to  navigate  bis  vessel  by  means 
of  the  sounding  lead. 

Pillars. — In  ship-building,  pieces  of  wood  or  iron  supporting  the 
decks  in  some  vessels,  and  acting  as  the  columns  of  a  church. 

Pillar  of  the  hold. — A  main  stanchion  with  notches  in  it,  which 
may  be  used  as  steps  in  descending  to  the  hold. 

Pillow. — A  block  of  timber  whereon  the  inner  end  of  some  spar, 
such  as  the  bowsprit,  is  rested. 
Pin. — Of  a  block,  the  axle. 
Belaying  pin. —A  pin,  forming  a  sort  of 
cleat,  round  which  a  halyard  or  any  other 
rope  may  be  belayed.   In  a  yacht  or  sailing 
boat  several  of  them  will  be  found  around 
the  lower  part  of  the  mast,  in  the  spider- 
hoop,  for  the  belaying  of  the  halyards.    In 
larger  vessels  they  are  often  fitted  into  a 
bar  or  fife-rail  at  the  side  of  the  boat,  or 
across  the  shrouds,  when  they  may  also 
be   called  jack-pins.     But  they  may  be 
placed  wherever  convenient. 

Pin  doivn. — 1.  (In  sailing).     When  the 
sheet    is    hauled   in   too   close,    and   the 

boat's  head  is  kept  too  close  into  the  eye  of  the  wind,  she  is  said 
to  be  pinned  down,  and  the  consequence  is  that  she  makes  little 
or  no  way.  Beginners  are  too  apt  to  pin  their  vessels  down  in  this 

2.  A  vessel  is  said  to  be  pinned  down  by  the  head  when  her 
head  is  low  down  in  the  water,  either  on  account  of  an  excess 
of  weight  forward,  or,  if  at  anchor,  when  her  cable  is  too 

A    DICTIONARY   OF    SEA    TERMS.  201 

Finch-gut  money. — An  expression  used  by  merchant  seamen 
for  money  paid  to  them,  in  certain  vessels,  at  the  end  of  a  voyage, 
to  the  value  of  such  stores  as  they  were  entitled  to  hut  have  not 

Pingle. — An  old  name  for  a  small  north-country  coasting  vessel. 

Pink. — In  the  Dutch  fisheries,  a  two-masted  boat  of  the  ketch 
type.  (See  Dogger.)  "  A  name  given  to  a  ship  with  a  very 
narrow  stern.  Those  used  in  the  Mediterranean  Sea  differ  from  the 
Xebecs  only  in  being  more  lofty  and  not  sharp  in  the  bottom  ;  they 
are  vessels  of  burden,  have  three  masts,  and  carry  lateen  sails." 
(Falconer,  1790.) 

Pinnace  (in  the  Royal  Navy). — An  open  boat  propelled  usually 
by  oars,  though  in  modern  times  some  have  been  fitted  with  engines, 
working  either  by  steam,  electricity  or  oil-gas.  The  boat  ranges 
from  28  to  32  feet  in  length,  and  is  used  for  general  purposes. 

Pinrack  (at  sea). — A  rack  or  framework  on  the  deck  of  a 
vessel,  consisting  of  blocks  and  cleats  for  the  working  of  ropes.  {See 
Rack.  ) 

Pintles. — The  pins  on  a  rudder  which  fit  into  the  goodgeons,  or 
eyes,  on  the  stern-post  of  the  boat.     (See  Rudder.) 

Piracy.— Felony  on  the  seas  or  in  harbour.  Various  acts  are 
now  enumerated  as  piracy,  such  as  violence,  boarding  against  the 
will  of  the  master,  etc.     (See  CORSAIR.) 

Fitch. — The  residuum  of  boiled  tar.  It  is  valuable  both  for 
preserving  the  planks  of  new  vessels  and  for  hiding  the  defects  of 
old  ones. 

Plain  sailing.— (See  Sailing.) 

Flank. — Planking  (in  shipbuilding). — The  covering  of  the  ribs  of 
a  hull  with  planks  disposed  in  strakes ;  in  other  words,  the  skin  of  a 
ship.     (See  FRAME, ) 

Plank  on  edge. — A  slang  or  jocular  term  for  a  very  narrow  boat, 
supposed  to  resemble  a  plank  on  its  edge. 

Plankshccr,  or  planlcsharc  (the  sheer  plank). —  The  outermost 
plank  of  the  deck,  or,  in  other  words,  the  plank  in  a  deck  which  is 
nearest  the  side  of  the  vessel.  It  usually  overlaps  the  sheerstrake 
and  has  apertures  cut  along  its  sides  to  admit  of  the  timber  heads 
(the  head  of  each  rib)  projecting  through  it.  It  is  usually  of  hard 
wood ;  sometimes  of  handsome  wood,  such  as  mahogany,  and  in 
these  cases  adds  considerably  to  the  appearance  of  the  deck. 

Plate. — In  shipbuilding,  usually  a  flat  piece  of  iron.  Thus 
channel  plates  are  flat  bars  fastened  to  the  sides  of  a  vessel,  and 
bent  over  the  channels  where  those  exist,  or  taking  their  place 
where  they  are  dispensed  with.     (See  CHANNELS.) 

Backstay  platen. — Smaller  bars  than  the  channel-plates,  and  fixed 
to  the  vessel's  sides  further  aft  than  those,  to  take  the  tackles  of 
the  back-stays.  They  are  usually  so  set  as  to  follow  the  line  of 
the  stays,  so  that  there  may  be  no  lateral  strain  upon  them. 

202  A   DICTIONAEY   OF    SEA    TEEMS. 

Futtock  plate. — A  large  plate  at  the  heads  of  the  masts  in 
large  vessels,  to  take  the  shrouds  of  the  top-mast.  (See  under 

Play.— The  motion  of  all  the  members  of  the  frame  of  a  vessel 
as  she  sails.     (See  Give.  ) 

Fledge. — A  string  of  oakum  used  in  caulking. 

Plug.— Boats  intended  for  beaching  often  have  a  hole  cut 
through  the  bottom  to  let  out  any  water  which  may  accumulate  in 
them.  The  stopper  to  this  hole  is  called  the  plug,  or  bung  :  it 
may  be  either  a  cork  or  a  patent  screw-plug. 

Plumb. — Perpendicular. 

To  plumb.  —  To  test  the  perpendicularity  of  anything,  just  as 
carpenters  do,  Avith  the  plumb-line  and  weight ;  the  weight  actually 
being  the  plumb. 

Plummet. — The  name  sometimes  given  to  the  leaden  weight 
attached  to  the  lead-line  (which  see). 

Ply  (from  "  apply  "). — To  ply  an  oar  is  to  row. 

To  ply  for  hire,  as  with  watermen,  to  seek  or  ask  for  hire. 

Point. — In  geography,  a  projecting  cape,  as  Portland  Point. 

To  point  a  rope. — To  untie  the  ends,  take  out  a  portion  of  them, 
and  weave  a  sort  of  mat  round  the  diminished  portion  so  that  it 
may  easily  go  through  a  hole,  etc. 

To  point  a  sail. — To  fix  the  reef  points. 

Point  the  yards  to  the  wind. — With  square-rigged  vessels,  to  brace 
the  yards  sharp  up  when  the  vessel  lies  at  anchor,  so  that  they  may 
not  receive  the  impulse  of  the  wind. 

Points  of  the  compass. — The  thirty-two  parts  into  which  the  card  of 
the  mariner's  compass  is  divided.     (See  Compass.) 

Cardinal  points. — The  four  main  points  of  the  compass— North, 
South,  East,  and  West. 

Reef  jioints. — Short  ropes  hanging  from  small  eyes  across  a  sail, 
to  secure  part  of  the  sail  in  reefing  (ivhich  see). 

Folacre  (Fr.). — "  A  ship  with  three  masts,  usually  navigated  in 
the  Mediterranean  :  each  of  the  masts  is  commonly  formed  of  one 
piece,  so  that  they  have  neither  tops  nor  cross-trees ;  neither  have 
they  any  horses  to  their  yards,  for  the  men  stand  upon  the  top-sail 
yards  to  loose  or  furl  the  top  gallant  sails,  the  yards  being  lowered 
sufficiently  down  for  that  purpose.  These  vessels  are  generally 
furnished  with  square  sails  upon  the  main  mast,  and  lateen  sails 
upon  the  fore  and  mizzen  masts.  Some  of  them,  however,  carry 
square  sails  upon  all  the  three  masts,  particularly  those  of  Provence, 
in  France."  (Falconer.)     The  class  is  practically  extinct. 

Pole. — A  rod  used  for  pushing  a  boat  along.  For  large  craft, 
such  as  barges,  it  should  be  a  "  richer  "  ;  that  is,  a  young  tree  in 
itself,  not  made  out  of  a  plank.  There  are  various  poles :  the 
barge-pole,  the  quanting  pole,  the  punting  pole,  etc.  The  quanting 
pole,  or  quant,  as  it  is  generally  called,  is  peculiar  to  Norfolk.     (See 



under  Quant.)  The  punting  pole  is  much  used  up  river, 
hoth  on  the  Thames  and  elsewhere :  it  requires  some 
experience  to  work  properly. 

The  pole  of  a  mast. — The  upper  end  of  the  highest  mast, 
which  rises  ahove  the  rigging. 

Pole  mast. — A  mast  complete  in  itself  ;  that  is  without 
the  addition  of  a  topmast :  such  is  the  mizzen  of  a  yawl, 
or  the  mast  of  a  lug-sail-boat.  Many  of  our  river  barges 
have  only  pole  masts.     (See  fig.) 

Under. bare  poles. — Having  no  sail  set  (only  spoken,  in 
general,  of  square-rigged  ships). 

Scudding  under  bare  poles. — Running  before  the  wind 
without  any  sail  set.     {See  SCUD.) 

Police  {River  Police). — {See  Metropolitan  Police.) 

Ponent. — Western. 

Pontoon. — "Anciently,  square-built  ferry  boats  for 
passing  rivers,  as  described  by  Cassar  and  Aulus  Gellius." 
A  low,  flat  vessel,  a  number  of  which  being  placed  together 
may  carry  a  bridge,  as  some  of  those  over  the  Rhine,  etc. 
A  portable  boat.  fr-^ 

Poop. — Properly  an  extra  deck  on  the  after  part  of  a         ■ 
vessel.     (Sec  diagrams  under  Deck.)     "When  raised  over 
a  spar  deck  it  is  sometimes  called  a  round  house.  Mast^f 

Poop  royal. — "  A  short  deck  or  platform  over  the  after-    Bahge. 
most  part  of  the  poop  in  the  largest  of  the  French  and 
Spanish  men  of  war,  and  serving  as  a  cabin  for  their  masters  and 
pilots.     This  is  the  top  gallant  poop  of  our  ship-wrights,  and  the 
fore-mentioned  round  house  of  our  merchant  vessels."     (Smyth.) 

Pooping. — To  be  pooped. — When  a  sea  comes  over  the  stern  of  a 
vessel  it  is  said  to  ''poop"  her.  The  effect  of  being  pooped  in  an 
•open  boat  will  naturally  be  either  to  swamp  her,  or  very  nearly  so. 
The  importance,  then,  of  keeping  before  the  sea,  when  running, 
need  hardly  be  enlarged  upon.  It  may  be  accomplished  by  crowding 
on  sail,  but  this  can  only  be  done  with  judgment. 

Pooping  sea. — A  wave  which  threatens  to  run  over  a  vessel  is  thus 

To  poop  another  vessel. — To  run  the  bowsprit  of  one  vessel  under 
the  poop  of  another.  -_ 

Poppets.  —  Timbers  used  in 
launching  a  vessel.  Also  small 
pieces  on  the  gunwale  of  a  boat 
forming  the  rowlocks. 

Popple. — A  slang  term  for  the 
roughness  of  the  sea.  When  it 
blows  there  is  said  to  be  "  a  good 
popple  on,  "or  &  poppling  sea,  mean- 
ing that  the  sea  is  quick  and  short. 

Port. — The  left  hand  side  of  the  on  the  Port  Tack. 

-vessel  (sec  fig. ).  (See  next  page.) 

204  A    DICTIONARY   OP   SEA    TERMS. 

A'port. — Towards  the  port  side,  as  "put  the  helm  a'port," — i.e., 
put  it  over  to  the  left-hand  side. 

Port  tack. — A  vessel  is  on  the  port  tack  when  the  wind  is  blowing 
on  her  left-hand  side  {sec  fig.  on  preceding  page).  In  meeting  or 
passing  a  vessel  on  the  starboard  tack  that  one  on  the  port  tack 
must  give  ivay — that  is,  pass  astern,  or  by  some  other  means  get  out  of 
the  way.  This  is  one  of  the  most  important  rules  of  the  road— theport 
tack  gives  way.     {See  Rule  OF  THE  ROAD,  and  STARBOARD  Tack.) 

Ports,  port-holes. — Openings  in  the  sides  of  a  vessel,  as  the  round 
holes  or  windows  so  often  seen  in  passenger  steam-boats. 

Port  flange. — A  piece  of  Avood  placed  over  a  port. 

Port  sills. — The  planks  of  timber  which  lie  horizontally  in  the 
framing  of  a  port-hole,  top  and  bottom  ;  like  window  sills. 

In  port. — In  harbour — the  port  in  this  instance  being  the  destina- 
tion of  a  vessel. 

Port  men. — "  A  name  given  in  old  times  to  the  inhabitants  of  the 
Cinque  Ports.  The  burgesses  of  Ipswich  are  also  so  called." 

Port  mote. — A  mote  or  court  held  in  port  (old  term). 

Port  reeve.  —  Like  shire-reeve  (sheriff),  a  magistrate  having 
certain  jurisdiction  in  a  port  (old  term). 

Portfire. — A  stick  or  ribbon  of  composition  for  communicating 
fire  from  a  match  to  the  priming  of  some  weapon,  as,  in  these  days, 
to  a  rocket. 

Port  last,  or portoise. — The  same  as  gunwale   (old  term). 

Wind  a'port. — With  the  wind  blowing  from  the  left.  With  the 
wind  a'port  a  vessel  is,  therefore,  on  the  port  tack. 

Portuguese  man-of-war.  —  A  name  given  to  one  of  the 
acalcphcc  of  the  tropical  seas — the  Physalis  pelagica. 

Posted  (old  Naval  term). — Promoted  from  commander  to  captain. 
Hence  the  term^ostf  captain. 

Pouches. — In  vessels  which  are  laden  in  bulk,  strong  bulkheads 
(called  pouches)  are  placed  across  the  hold  to  prevent  the  cargo 
from  shifting. 

Poulterer  (on  shipboard). — He  whose  business  it  is  to  look  after 
such  stock  as  the  poultry,  in  consequence  of  which  he  is  also  known 
as  "  Jemmy  Ducks."     He  has  other  duties  besides,  however. 

Prayer  book. — A  small  flat  piece  of  holystone  which  may  be 
got  into  narrow  crevices.  A  large  piece  of  the  stone  is  called  the 
bible,  because  used  in  a  kneeling  posture.  A  smaller  piece,  the 
prayer  book. 

Press. — To  be  pressed. — To  be  reduced  to  straits.  In  old  days, 
to  have  been  taken  forcibly  for  Naval  service. 

Press  canvas. — The  fullest  amount  of  canvas  a  racing  yacht  can 
carry  when  ranning  directly  before  the  wind.  {See  under  BALLOON 

Press  gang. — In  old  days,  a  gang  of  men  sent  out  from  a  ship  to 
take  men  by  force  into  service. 

A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEEMS.  205 

Preventer. — An  additional  rope  supporting  another  when  that 
one  is  subject  to  unusual  strain.  Such  are  preventer  braces  on 
square-rigged  ships,  which  strengthen  or  take  the  place  of  the  usual 

Preventer  bolts,  in  the  preventer  plates  of  large  vessels. 

Preventer  plates,  broad  plates  of  iron  below  the  chains  in  large 

Preventer  stay ,  or  preventer back  stay. — In  fore-and-aft  craft,  a  top- 
mast back-stay  easily  slackened  when  the  main-sail  swings  over, 
from  which  cause  they  are  occasionally  called  runners.  {See  diagram 
under  CUTTER.) 

Prick. — To  prick  out  on  the  chart  (at  sea)  is  to  mark  the  course 
and  situation  of  a  ship  on  the  chart,  after  making  the  proper 

Pricker,  in  sail-making,  a  small  instrument  with  which  to  make 
holes  in  sails. 

Pricking  sails.— A  method  once  in  vogue  of  strengthening  old  sails. 
It  consisted  in  running  a  middle  seam  between  the  two  seams  which 
unite  each  of  the  cloths  of  it.  The  term  may  mean,  however,  merely 
the  stitching  of  two  cloths  of  a  sail  together. 

To  prick  for  a  soft  plank. — To  look  out  for  an  easy  berth. 

Pride  of  the  morning.— A  misty  dew  at  sunrise. 

Privateer. — The  following  is  Falconer's  account  and  definition  : 
"  Privateers  are  vessels  of  war  armed  and  equipped  by  particular 
merchants,  and  furnished  with  commissions  from  the  State  to  cruise 
against  and  annoy  the  enemy  by  taking,  sinking,  or  burning  their 
shipping.  These  vessels  are  generally  governed  on  the  same  plan 
with  His  Majesty's  ships.  The  commission  obtained  by  the 
merchants  empowers  them  to  appropriate  to  their  own  use  what- 
ever prize  they  make,  after  legal  condemnation  ;  and  Government 
allows  them  besides  £5  (35  Geo.  III.  c.  66)  for  every  man  on  board 
a  man-of-war  or  privateer,  taken  or  destroyed,  at  the  beginning  of 
the  engagement ;  and,  in  case  we  are  at  war  with  more  potentates 
than  one,  they  must  have  commissions  for  acting  against  each  of 
them ;  otherwise,  if  a  captain  carrying  only  one  against  the  Danes, 
should  in  his  course  meet  with  and  take  a  Frenchman,  this  prize 
is  not  good,  but  would  be  taken  from  him  by  any  man-of-war  he 
met,  and  could  not  be  condemned  {for  him)  in  the  Admiralty,  as 
many  have  experienced." 

Prize. — In  war  time,  any  vessel  taken  at  sea  from  an  enemy. 

Proa. — A  narrow  sailing  canoe  of  theLadrone  Islands.  It  travels 
so  swiftly  as  to  have  received  the  name  of  "flying  proa."  The 
boats  of  the  Malays  are  also  called  proas. 

'  Procession  of  boats. — Boats  in  procession.  The  sight  is  very 
pretty,  and  often  takes  place  at  night,  each  boat  being  illuminated 
or  decorated.  Of  recent  years  these  processions  have  been  revived 
at  Richmond,  Kingston,  Molesey,  and  elsewhere  on  the  Thames,  and 
should  be  seen  by  all  who  have  the  opportunity. 

206  A   DICTIONARY   OF    SEA    TEEMS. 

Profile  draught. — In  the  lines  of  a  ship.  "  A  name  applied  to 
two  drawings  from  the  sheer  draught ;  one  represents  the  entire  con- 
struction and  disposition  of  the  ship,  the  other  her  whole  interior 
work  and  fittings."    (Smyth.) 

Proof  timber. — In  the  lines  of  a  ship.  "  An  imaginary  timber 
expressed  by  vertical  straight  lines  in  the  sheer  draught  to  prove  the 
fairness  of  the  body."     (Smyth.) 

Promenade  deck.— (See  Deck.) 

Prow. — The  beak  or  pointed  cut-water  of  a  galley. 

Fucker. — In  sail-making,  a  wrinkled  seam. 

Puddening. — A  wreath  or  circle  of  cording  or  oakum  fastened 
round  a  mast  to  support  the  yards.  They  were  employed  in  old 
battleships  in  case  the  ropes  by  which  the  yards  were  held  were 
shot  away.  The  lump  of  material  was  called  the  dolphin.  A 
puddening  was  also  laid  round  the  ring  of  an  anchor  to  prevent  a 
hempen  cable  from  chafing.  And  at  the  present  day,  a  row  boat's 
nose  is  sometimes  puddened  to  act  as  a  permanent  fender,  or  a  thick 
hempen  rope  may  be  carried  entirely  round  the  gunwale.  This  is 
not  uncommon  on  the  best  Thames  skiffs;  while  the  Gravesend 
watermen's  boats  always  have  the  nose  puddened. 

Pull. — In  rowing  phraseology  the  Avord  "  pull"  is  generally  used 
instead  of  the  word     row." 

Pant. — A  flat-bottomed  boat  usually  propelled  by  a  pole.  Of  late 
years  punting  has  become  a  very  favourite  amusement  on  the  Upper 
Thames  ;  punt  racing  has  been  organized,  and  a  champion  has  sprung 
up  among  us.  Racing  punts  are  of  extremely  light  build,  and, 
properly  punted,  may  be  made  to  travel  at  an  extraordinary  speed. 
The  art  of  punting  is  by  no  means  so  easy  as  it  looks.  The  pole  is 
worked  on  one  side  only,  the  punter  standing  in  one  place,  some- 
what forward.  The  principal  fault  to  guard  against,  is  that  of 
letting  the  pole  get  under  the  boat,  the  consequences  of  allowing 
this  to  happen  in  a  heavy  punt  being  very  unpleasant  :  care  should, 
therefore,  be  taken  in  casting  it  to  keep  it  well  away.  Various 
forms  of  punts  have,  of  late,  come  into  fashion,  some  propelled  by 
sail,  some  by  paddles,  and  others  by  sculls.  Rough  punts  are  also 
much  used,  in  the  upper  reaches,  for  fishing. 

Puoys. — Spiked  poles  propelling  barges  or  keels.     (Smyth.) 

Purchase. — To  purchase  is  to  raise  or  move  any  heavy  body  by 
means  of  mechanical  powers,  as  a  tackle,  windlass,  etc.  Hence  the 
tackle  itself  has  become  known  as  the  purchase ;  and  when  a  person 
is  able,  by  its  means,  to  get  a  steady  pull  upon  anything,  he  is  said 
to  get  "  a  good  purchase. " 

Purchase  blocks. — Those  used  in  a  tackle  for  moving  weights. 

Purchase  fall. — The  rope  of  a  tackle  hauled  upon.     (See  TACKLE. ) 

Purser  (from purse). — "  Formerly  an  officer  in  the  British  Navy, 
whose  chief  duty  consisted  in  keeping  the  accounts  of  the  ship  to 
which  he  belonged ;  but  he  also  acted  as  purveyor.     The  title  of 

A    DICTIONABY   OP    SEA    TEEMS.  207 

this  officer  has  heen,  since  1844,  paymaster."     (Brande  and  Cox.) 
The   title  is  still  retained,  however,  in  passenger  ships. 

Purser's  dip. — The  smallest  dip-candle  (old  term). 

Purser's  grins. — Sneers. 

Like  a  pursers  shirt  on  a  handspike. — A  comparison  used  in  des- 
cribing clothes  fitting  very  loosely. 

Purser's  stocking. — A  slop  "  article,  and  therefore  capable  of 
fitting  any  man,  or,  at  least,  of  stretching  itself  to  any  man's  fit. 

Put. — Put  about. — To  turn  a  vessel's  head  about  so  that  the  wind 
takes  her  on  the  other  side  ;  in  nautical  language,  called  putting  her 
on  the  other  tack.      (See  Tack.) 

Put  back. — To  return  to  port  for  some  reason  after  having  left. 

Put  into  port. — To  run  into  some  intermediate  port  from  stress 
of  weather,  or  for  any  other  cause. 

Put  off. — To  quit  or  push  off  from  a  pier  or  quay:  to  start  on  a 
voyage.  ^ 

Put  to  sea. — To  start  on  a  voyage  to  sea. 

Puttock. — Another  name  for  futtock  (which  see)  ;  but 
quite  incorrect,  for  "futtock"  is  but  an  abbreviation  of 
foot- hook,  and  "  puttock  "  can  claim  no  such  origin. 


Quadrant. — The  instrument  once  used  in  navigation,  but 
now  long  since  superseded  by  the  sextant  (which  see). 

Quant. — Quanting  is  a  method  of  punting  a  vessel  peculiar 
to  Norfolk.  The  quanting  pole  (called  the  quant)  is  long  and 
fitted  with  head  and  toe  pieces,  as  in  the  figure.  It  is  used 
in  ferry  -boats  and  in  the  large  sailing  wherries  belonging  to 
the  district,  which  have  a  narrow  decking  left  each  side  of 
the  vessel's  hold  expressly  to  enable  a  man  to  work  the  quant, 
the  head  of  which  he  places  against  his  shoulder,  applying  his 
weight  thereto  and  walking  the  whole  length  of  this  deck. 

Quarter. — Literally,  says  Smyth,  one  quarter  of  the  ship  : 
but  in  common  parlance  applies  to  45  degs.  abaft  the  beam. 
In  other  words  the  quarters  are  those  portions  of  the  sides  of  QUANT- 
a  vessel  about   half  way  between  beam  and 
stern  ;  and,  in  their  position  aft  of  the  beam, 
may  be  said  to  correspond  with  the  bows,  which 
lie  forward  of  the  beam. 

Quarter  boats. — The  ship's  boats  carried  on 
her  quarters. 

Quarter  deck. — That  portion  of  the  deck 
covering  the  quarters.     (See  DECK.) 

Quarter  fast. — A  rope  or  hawser  holding  a 
vessel  by  the  quarter.  It  is  much  the  same  as 
a  quarter  spring  (sec  next  page). 

Quarter  master. — One  of  the  chief  petty 
officers  on  board  a  ship. 

208  A    DICTIONARY   OF    SEA    TERMS. 

Quarter  point. — A  subdivision  of  the  compass  card  =  2°  48'  45". 
(See  Half  Point.) 

Quarter  slings. — Supports  attached  to  the  quarters  of  a  yard  (see 
below) . 

Quarter  spring,  or  chain. — A  rope  or  chain  from  a  vessel's  quarter 
to  some  other  object.  It  is  sometimes  used  in  yacht  racing  when 
the  boats  start  from  a  fixed  point  :  on  the  firing  of  the  gun  the 
quarter  spring  is  hauled  upon,  and  the  yacht's  stern  being  thus 
canted  in  the  required  direction,  she  is  enabled  to  fill  her  sails  and 
make  way.* 

Quarter  wind. — Wind  blowing  on  the  vessel's  quarter. 

Quarters. — The  position  in  which  men  should  place  themselves 
when  called  to  their  duties. 

Quarters  of  a  mast. — A  term  applied  to  some  of  the  divisions 
on  a  large  mast,  where  the  diameters  are  set  off  for  lining  or 

Quarters  of  the  yards. — Spaces  into  which  yards  are  divided  ;  they 
are  termed  first,  second,  and  third  quarter,  and  the  outer  end  or 
yard  arm. 

Quay. — An  artificial  landing  place. 

Queen  (Queen's  ship,  Queen's  parade,  etc.). — For  the  sake  of  pre- 
serving the  old  and  more  permanent  name,  where  these  and  lake 
terms  are  defined,  they  are  placed  under  the  heading  King. 

Quick. — Quicksand. — Shifting  or  loose  sand  :  as  it  were  "  living" 
sand.  Quicksands  may  occur  in  patches  on  firm  sand,  without 
anything  to  mark  their  presence,  or  they  may  be  whole  banks  of 
sand.  Their  depth  is  often  unfathomable,  whole  ships  disappearing 
into  them 

Quick  saver  (in  square-rigged  ships). — "  A  span  formerly  used  to 
prevent  the  courses  from  bellying  too  much  when  off  the  wind. " 

Quick  work  (in  shipbuilding). — That  part  of  a  vessel's  planking 
which  is  above  the  ivale.  It  is,  in  fact,  part  of  her  bulwarks.  It  is 
sometimes  of  deal,  which,  as  it  does  not  require  the  fastening  nor 
the  time  to  finish  that  other  parts  do,  is  called  quick  work.  (See 
diagram  under  Frame.  )  But  Smyth  gives  the  following  :  Quick  work. 
— 1.  All  that  part  which  is  under  water  when  she  is  laden.  2. 
That  part  of  the  inner  and  upper  bulwarks  above  the  covering 
board.  3.  The  short  planks  worked  in  between  the  ports.  In 
general  parlance  quick  work  is  synonymous  with  spirketting. 

Quid  (of  tobacco). — That  piece  of  tobacco  which  may  often  be 
discovered  within  the  mouth  of  a  seafaring  man.  "  Quid  est  hoc?" 
asked  one,  tapping  the  swelled  cheek  of  his  messmate.  "  Hoc  est 
quid, "  promptly  replied  the  other. 

Quilting. — The  application  of  a  coating  or  jacket  to  some  bottle 
to  prevent  it  from  breaking. 

*  The  terms  quarter  spring  and  quarter  chain  are  sometimes  abbreviated  into 
the  mere  word  quarter. 

A    DICTIONARY   OF    SEA    TEEMS.  209 


Rabbet. — In  shipbuilding,  a  groove  or  channel  incised  by  a 
peculiar  form  of  plane  along  a  piece  of  timber  to  receive  the  edge 
of  a  plank.  The  word  is  derived  from  the  French  raboter,  to  plane.  So 
in  the  making  of  a  wooden  ship  the  rabbet  of  the  keel  is  a  groove  along 
each  side  of  the  keel  made  to  receive  the  edges  of  the  garboard  (or 
lowest)  strokes  (planking).  Similar  rabbets  on  the  stem  and  stern 
posts  receive  the  ends  of  the  ship's  planking.  The  rabbet  must  be 
distinguished  from  the  rebate  (which  see). 

Race. — Tide  race,  tide-rip,  whorl  or  overfall. — "A  strong  rippling 
tide  or  current ;  as  Portland  Race,  which  is  caused  by  the  projection 
of  the  land  with  the  unevenness  of  the  ground  over  which  the  tide 
flows,  and  which  is  one  mile  and  three  quarters  long,  in  the  direc- 
tion east  and  west. "  At  Alderney  is  another  important  rip.  These 
currents  or  overfalls  appear  to  be  the  result  of  uneven  bottoms  and 
cross  tides.  They  are  somewhat  dangerous  to  small  craft.  A  short 
description  is  given  in  the  "  Voyage  of  the  yawl  Bob-Boy." 

Rack. — 1.  A  frame  of  timber  containing  several  sheaves  or 
fairleads  for  ropes.  In  small  craft  almost  any  fairlead  may  be 
called  a  rack.     Also  a  rail  for  belaying  pins. 

Back  sheaves. — A  range  of  sheaves  on  a  rack. 

2.  To  rack. — To  seize  two  ropes  together.     Hence  : — 

To  rack  a  tackle  (i.e.,  the  ropes  of  a  tackle). — To  seize  the  two 
running  ends  together  so  as  to  prevent  them  from  running  out  of  the 
blocks;  by  which  means  any  object  suspended  by  the  tackle  is 
prevented  from  falling,  even  if  the  fall  be  let  go. 

Backing. — The  material  (spun  yarn  or  whatever  may  be  used  in 
its  place)  by  which  the  ropes  of  a  tackle  are  racked. 

3.  Back. — The  cloud  above  that  which  is  called  the  scud. 
Raddle. — To  interlace. 

Raft. — A  group  of  any  timbers  attached  together  to  form  a  float. 

Baft  ports. — Square  holes  (a.port  being  a  hole  in  a  ship's  side)  in 
the  bows  or  buttocks  of  timber-carrying  vessels  to  allow  of  loading 
and  unloading  timber  without  taking  it  over  the  deck.  They  are 
often  seen  in  Scandinavian  vessels. 

Rag-bolt. — An  iron  pin  With  a  number  of  gashes  cut  on  its 
shank  to  keep  it  from  slipping. 

Rails.  —  Narrow  planks  or  bars  placed  in  various  parts  of  a 
vessel,  as  the  fiferails,  into  which  belaying  pins  may  be  fitted. 
(See  Fifekail.) 

Taffrail. — The  rail  over  the  aftermost  part  of  a  vessel.  (See 

Bough  rails,  or  rough-tree  rails. — The  uppermost  rails  round  a 
ship ;  or  any  timbers  placed  temporarily  on  a  vessel's  sides,  or  else- 
where.    (See  diagram  under  Frame.) 

Bails  of  the  dead. — Curved  timbers  on  each  side  of  a  ship's  stem 
supporting  the  headknees,  etc. 

Raise. — " Baisc  tacks  and  sheets." — In  square  rigged  ships,  an 
order  given  preparatory  to  bracing  the  yards  round. 




Raise  a  mouse. — To  make  a  mouse  or  collar  on  a  stay.  (See 
Mouse.  ) 

liaise  the  witul. — 
To  procure  money 
(a  shoreman's  ex- 

Rake. — The  sea- 
man's name  for  an 
inclination  or  slope  : 
thus  the  rake  of  the 
masts ;  the  rake  of 
the   stem   or   stern, 
etc.,  will  mean  the 
inclination  of  any  of 
these  from  the  per- 
pendicular.    Sometimes  the  run  of  a  vessel 
is  called  the  rake.     As  applied  to  masts, 
unless  otherwise  defined,  raking  implies  a 
slant  backwards.   When  they  slant  forward 
they  are  spoken  of  as  being  stayed  forward 
or  having  a  forward  rake. 

To  rake  in  old  naval  warfare  was   to 
fire    into   the   head    or    stem    of    another  rL-^iL^i^P 

Rakish  (of  a  ship). — Having  a  smart  appearance.  Being  a  fast 

Rally. — To  haul  in  rapidly.  Spoken  of  a  rope  or  tackle,  as 
"  Rally  in  the  main  sheet !  " 

Bam. — A  massive  projection  under  water  at  the  bow  of  a  ship 
of  war.     The  ship  herself  is  also  called  a  ram. 

Ram's  head. — An  old  name  for  a  large  main-halyard  block. 

Ran. — In  rope-making  a  reel  of  twenty  yards.  "  Yarns  coiled 
on  a  spun-yam  winch  "  (Smyth). 

Randan. — A  system  of  rowing  with  a  pair  of  oars  and  a  pair  of 
sculls.  The  stroke  and 
bow  hands  use  the  oars, 
the  one  in  between  them 
the  sculls.  This  arrange- 
ment is  found  very  con- 
venient by  Thames 
watermen,  the  Custom 
House,  the  Thames  Con- 
servancy, etc.,  and  ex- 
tends from  the  locks  as 
far  down  as  Gravesend.  A  boat  thus  built  is  often  called  a  randan  ; 
it  is  a  continuation  of  the  style  of  the  old  Thames  wherries. 

Range.  —  1.  At  sea,  the  length  of  rope  or  chain  required  for 
any  particular  purpose,  and  coiled  up  ready  for  use.  Thus,  a 
sufficient  length  of  chain  (and  usually  a  certain  allowance  over) 
drawn    out    on   deck    to    allow    an    anchor    to    run    out   without 




impediment,  so  that    it  may  get  a  good  hold  of  the  ground,  is 
the  range  of  the  cable. 

2.  On  ship  hoard,  a  large  cleat  in  the  waist  of  a  ship  is 
occasionally  called  a  range. 

3.  In  gunnery,  the  distance  any  projectile  "will  travel  from  its 
gun,  within  which  distance  is  called  "within  range."  Also  any 
distance  decided  for  gun  practice  ;  as  a  "one  mile  range." 

Rap. — Rap- full. — An  order  given  to  a  helmsman  in  sailing  ; 
thus,  Keep  her  rap-full — Do  not  come  too  close  to  the  wind,  or 
"  Lift  a  wrinkle  of  sail. " 

Rasin. — In  shipbuilding  "  a  member  bolted  to  the  wale  and 
cut  in  for  the  deck  carbines."      (Winn.) 

Rasing  iron. — Tool  used  by  caulkers  for  clearing  a  vessel's  seams. 

Ratchet,  or  ratchet  wheel. — Awheel  (usually  accompanying 
a  windlass)  the  rim  of  which  is  formed  into  large  teeth  and  into 
which  teeth  a  pawl  drops  so  as  to  prevent  the  wheel  from  running 

Rate. — The  classification  of  a  vessel  for  certain  purposes.  Thus 
a  vessel  may  be  rated  A  1  at  Lloyd's ;  or  a  yacht  may  be  rated  a 
10  tonner,  or  a  20  rater,  etc. 

Rating  (of  yachts  for  racing  purposes). — A  manner  of  so  measuring 
certain  areas  in  yachts  that  boats  of  various  forms  and  sizes  shall 
compete  on  equal  terms.  It  would  be  impossible  in  this  place  to 
enter  into  details  of  the  various  methods  which  have  from  time  to 
time  been  employed,  and  to  make  any  use  of  which,  moreover, 
requires  some  knowledge  of  mathematics.  Those,  however,  who  wish 
to  enter  more  fully  into  the  subject  may  be  referred  to  an  excellent 
little  article  contributed  by  Mr.  Dixon  Kemp  to  Lloyd's  "  Seaman's 
Almanac,"  1896. 

Ration.  —  A  certain  allowance  of  food 
served  out  to  those  on  board  a  ship  or  elsewhere. 

Ratlines  (pronounced  "ratlins"  or  "ratt- 
lings")  rattling  down. — The  name  is  possibly 
derived  from  a  supposed  resemblance  to  rats' 
tails. — Small  lines  crossing  the  shrouds  of  a 
ship  and  forming  the  steps  of  ladders.  Fixing 
these  ratlines  to  the  shrouds,  which  is  done  by 
a  simple  seizing  and  clove  hitches,  is  called  rat- 
tling down  the  rigging.  When  they  are  placed 
too  closely  together  they  constitute  that  which 
is  called,  in  derision,  a     lady's  ladder." 

Reach. — In  a  river,  the  distance  between 
two  bends ;  that  is,  in  which  the  stream  makes 
no  decided  turn.     From  this  we  have 

To  reach. — To  sail  on  the  wind :  as  from  one 
point  of  tacking  to  another,  or  with  the  wind 
nearly  abeam  (but  always  ahead  of  the  beam). 
While  reaching,  therefore,  a  vessel  makes  no 
turn  about.     (See  TACK.) 

212  A    DICTIONARY   OF    SEA    TERMS. 

"Ready  about." — An  order  or  command  to  stand-by  (be 
ready)  to  put  a  vessel  about,  i.e.,  round  on  another  tack.    (See  TACK.) 

Rebate  (in  shipwrighting). — A  cutting-in  on  some  timber,  so 
as  to  allow  another  to  fit  into  it.  Thus  a  keel  is  often  rebated  where 
the  floor  timbers  abut  upon  it.  (See  diagrams  under  FRAME.)  The 
rebate  must  be  distinguished  from  the  rabbet  (which  see). 

Rechange. — The  tackle  and  gear  kept  in  readiness  for  emer- 
gency on  shipboard. 

Reckoning. — (See  Dead-Keckoning.) 

Recovery  (in  rowing). — The  act  of  taking  the  oar  out  of  the 
water  after  a  stroke,  and  throwing  the  arms  and  body  forward  in 
preparation  for  another  stroke.  The  recovery  is  deemed  of  the 
utmost  importance  in  racing  :  it  should  be  brisk  and  lively  and  full 
of  swing  ;  not  too  quick,  for  that  destroys  the  swing  ;  not  too  slow, 
for  that  allows  the  momentum  of  the  boat  to  be  deadened. 

Reef- — 1.  (Of  rocks.)  A  low  ridge  of  rocks,  usually  beneath  the 
surface  of  the  sea.  2.  (Of  a  mast.)  To  reef  a  topmast  is  to  reduce 
its  length  and  make  a  new  fid  hole.  3.  (Of  sails.)  To  reef. — To 
reduce  the  area  of  sail  spread  to  the  wind.  Sails  attached  to  yards 
(i.e.,  square  sails)  are  reefed  at  the  head  by  men  going  out  on  the 
yards.  Gaff  sails  are  reefed  at  the  foot,  as  are  also  all  staysails,  jibs, 
etc.  The  method  of  reefing  the  sails  of  small  craft  is  described 

Beef-bands. — Horizontal  bands  of  canvas  running  across  a  sail, 
and  perforated  with  holes  or  eyes,  at  intervals,  to  receive  reef  points. 
The  holes  are  sometimes  prevented  from  tearing  out  by  having  small 
brass  rings,  called  thimbles  or  eyes,  fitted  tightly  into  them.  With- 
out these  bands  the  sail  would  be  liable  to  rend  from  the  strain  on 
the  points  when  reefed,  though  in  very  small  sails  the  bands  are 
often  dispensed  with.  (See  Sail.) 

Beef -cringles. — The  eyes  or  loops  in  the  bolt  rope  on  the  leech 
of  a  sail  through  which  the  reef-pendants  are  rove.  (See  fig.  ;  also 
under  CRINGLES.) 

Beef-down. — The  operation  of  re.efing,  and  more  particularly  of 
close  reefing,  is  often  called  reefng-down,  and  a  vessel  sailing  close- 
reefed  is  said  to  be  "  reefed-down." 

Beef  earings. — The  ropes  attached  to  the  cringles  on  the  upper 
sides  of  a  square  sail,  and  by  which  the  upper  corners  of  the  sail 
are  secured  to  the  yard  preparatory  to  reefing. 

Beef  knot. — In  reefing  a  sail,  its  foot  is  furled  up  as  high  as  the  reef 
points,  and  these  are  lashed  under  it,  the  same  knot  being  always 
used  in  doing  this,  from  which  circumstance  it  has  become  known 
as  the  reef  knot.    (See  KNOTS. ) 

Beef  line  (in  square  rig). — A  rope  acting  as  an  aid  to  men 
who  are  at  the  earings. 

Beef -pendants. — Short  ropes  rove  through  the  cringles  on  the  lower 
leech  of  a  gaff-sail,  and  often  through  a  hole  in  the  boom-cleat,  and 
by  which  the  clew  of  the  sail  is  secured  to  the  boom  (if  there  be  one) 
preparatory  to  reefing. 



Heef  Cringles 


Beef  points  (sometimes  called  nettles). — Short  pieces  of  rope  hung, 
one  on  each  side  of  a  sail,  from  the  eyes  in  the  reef  bands,  and  used 
to  confine  the  reefed  portion  of  the  sail.  The  simplest  method  of 
keeping  these  reef  points  in  the  sail  is  to  pass  a  short  rope  half 
through  the  eye  and  sew  it  down.  Another  method,  and  one  some- 
times used,  on  account  of  its  greater  strength,  for  large  sails,  is  to 
have  each  reef  point  of  two  ropes,  with  a  small  eye  spliced  on  the 
end  of  each,  just  large  enough  to  take  the  end  of  the  other.  Each 
of  these  ropes  being  passed  through  the  eye  in  the  sail,  one  from 
each  side,  the  end  is  rove  through  the  eye  of  the  other  and  pulled 
tight  (see  fig.). 

Beef  tackle. — A  purchase 
or  tackle  applied  to  a  reef 
earing,  or  to  a  reef-pen- 
dant (when  reefing)  for 
hauling  in  the  corner  of  the 
sail,  which  is  too  large  to 
be  managed  by  simple  hand 

Close  -  reefed.  —  To  be 
sailing  with  all  reefs  taken 
in.  (Sea  Close -reefed.) 

Beefing.  —  Reefing  is  a 
difficult  operation  in  a 
high  wind  (the  only  time 
it  is  necessary)  ;  but  it 
has  so  often  to  be  done, 
that  a  few  notes  on  the 
subject,  as  applied  to  fore- 
and-aft  rigged  craft,  may 
be  found  useful.  Some- 
times, under  stress  of  cir- 
cumstances, and  especially 
if  short  of  hands,  it  may  be 
best  to  drop  the  sails  alto- 
gether, one  at  a  time, 
take  in  the  necessary  reefs, 
and  then  set  them  again. 
But  under  more  favourable 
conditions  this  is  hardly 
needful,  and  the  process 
is  usually  conducted  as 
follows  : — 

To  reef  the  mainsail,  and, 
in  a  yawl,  the  mizzen,  the 
boat  should  be  put  up  head 
to  wind  ;  after  which,  the 
boom  being  slightly  topped 

tip,   so  as   to    relieve    the  s 

sail  of  its  weight,  the  peak  Method  of  Passing  Reef-Points. 


"-■"jjf-^   \  ■  Cringles 

fa}  ?oi*r, 

-Retted  bortiCK  Securing  the  reefe* 

cf  the  sail,  dew  of  tie  Sad. 

Mainsail  with  Two  Reefs. 

214  A    DICTIONARY   OF    SEA    TERMS. 

settled  (lowered),  and  the  sheets  hauled  taut — the  first,  second,  or 
third  reef  cringle  (according  to  the  number  of  reefs  to  be  taken)  is 
hauled  down  by  its  pendant  and  secured  to  tbe  boom, — or,  if  there 
be  no  boom,  the  corner  of  the  sail  is  tightly  bound  up  by  the 
pendant,  the  same  thing  being  done  at  the  tack,  or  weather  edge  of 
the  sail.  The  foot  of  the  sail  is  then  furled  up  as  far  as  the 
necessary  reef-points  (beginning  from  the  after  end),  lashed,  and 
the  sail  set  up  once  more. 

To  reef  the  foresail. — The  boat  being  put  up  to  the  wind,  the  sheets 
are  shifted  to  the  (first  or  second)  cringle  of  the  leech,  and  the  tack 
pendant  passed  through  the  corresponding  cringle  in  the  luff,  after 
which  the  foot  of  the  sail  may  be  furled  and  lashed  by  the  reef  points, 
and  the  tack  made  fast. 

To  reef  the  jib. — This  necessitates  that  the  sail  be  hauled  in,  un- 
bent, reefed  as  the  foresail,  and  reset.  It  is  an  awkward  operation, 
and  one  taking  time,  for  which  reason  jibs  are  seldom  reefed,  but 
instead  replaced  by  smaller  ones,  the  sailor  being  careful  to  secure 
each  corner  of  the  second  sail  as  the  first  one  is  unbent. 

To  reef  a  lugsail. — If  it  be  a  balance  lug,  it  is  reefed  round  the 
boom  to  which  the  foot  of  the  sail  is  laced  :  if  a  dipping  or  standing 
lug,  the  foot  is,  of  course,  furled  and  tied  in  the  usual  way. 

Reel. — A  machine  upon  which  various  bines  may  be  wound,  such 
as  the  deep-sea  reel,  that  reel  which  contains  the  deep-sea  line. 

Hand  reel,  the  reel  for  the  hand-bine. 

Log  reel,  the  same  for  the  log-line. 

A  twine  reel,  "  in  rope-making,  is  formed,  generally,  of  four  small 
oak  bars,  about  eighteen  inches  in  length,  one  of  which  is  made  to 
slide,  for  the  convenience  of  taking  off  the  twine." 

Yarn  reel. — A  reel  upon  which  to  wind  yam. 

Reeve. — 1.  Generally  speaking,  to  pass  something  through  a 
hole.  To  reeve  a  tackle  is  to  pass  a  rope  through  its  blocks.  To 
reeve  a  bowsprit  is  to  draw  it  inboard  (in  small  craft  it  runs  in 
a  ring  at  the  stem  and  between  bitts,  and  may  therefore  be  said, 
in  a  sort  of  way,  to  be  passed  through  them)  ;  and  a  bowsprit  which 
can  be  so  passed  in  and  out  (as  in  a  cutter)  is  described  as  a  reev- 
ing bowsprit.  And  since  to  reeve  is  to  pass  something  through,  to 
draw  it  out  again  is  properly  called  unrecving. 

2.  Heeling,  with  caulkers,  is  opening  the  seams  of  a  vessel's  sides 
with  an  instrument  called  the  reeving  iron,  so  as  to  admit  oakum. 

Reeving  beetle. — The  largest  hammer  or  mallet  used  by  a  caulker. 

Refit. — Repair  of  damages,  or  an  alteration  to  rigging. 

Regatta. — A  general  meeting  together  of  any  sorts  of  boats  for 
racing,  promenading,  or  any  description  of  aquatic  sports  ;  it  is  some- 
times called  a  water  frolic.     The  word  is  of  Venetian  origin. 

Regulations    for  Preventing    Collisions    at    Sea,    at 

present  in  force  under  the  Orders  in  Council  of  August  11th,  1884, 
December  30th,  1884,  June  24th,  1885,  August  18th,  1892,  and 
January  30th,  1893,  issued  in  pursuance  of  the  Merchant  Shipping 
Act  Amendment  Act,  1862.      These  regulations  may  be  obtained  at 

A    DICTIONABY   OP    SEA    TEBMS.  215 

the  marine  store  dealers';  by  a  nile  of  the  Merchant  Shipping  Act, 
1894,  "  The  Board  of  Trade  shall  furnish  a  copy  of  the  collision 
regulations  to  any  master  or  owner  of  a  ship  who  applies  for  it " ; 
they  are  given  in  Lloyd's  "  Seaman's  Almanac  "  ;  and  will  also  be 
found  more  or  less  fully  detailed  in  most  treatises  on  the  art  of  sail- 
ing. The  schedule  first  defines  steam  and  sailing  vessels,  thus  : 
"'  In  the  following  rules,  every  steamship  which  is  under  sail 
and  not  under  steam  is  to  be  considered  a  sailing  ship ;  and 
every  steamship  which  is  under  steam,  whether  under  sail 
or  not,  is  to  be  considered  a  ship  under  steam."  Next  follow 
the  "Rules  Concerning  Lights,"  which  will  be  found  under  the 
heading  Lights.  Articles  12  and  13  deal  with  fog  signals  (see 
under  Signals),  and  the  speed  of  vessels  in  a  fog.  Articles  14  to  23 
are  occupied  with  steering  and  sailing  rules  ;  in  other  words,  with 
the  Rule  of  the  Road  at  Sea  (which  see).  Articles  24  to  26  refer  to 
precautions,  rules  for  harbours,  special  lights  for  squadrons,  etc. 
Article  27. — Signals  of  distress  (see  under  Signals).  Later  orders 
refer  to  trawlers,  steam  pilot-vessels,  the  screening  of  side  lights, 
etc.  The  amateur  sailor  should  undoubtedly  become  quite  familiar 
with  these  regulations. 

Reigning  winds. — The  winds  which  prevail  in  any  particular 
district  or  locality. 

Relieving  tackles  (at  sea). — Temporary  tackles  for  the  relief 
of  others  under  great  strain.  They  are  sometimes  attached  to  the 
tiller  of  a  vessel  in  winch  ropes  are  used  for  the  wheel. 

Remberge. — "  A  long  narrow  rowing  vessel  of  Avar,  formerly 
used  by  the  English.  Its  name  is  derived  from  remo  and  barca,  aud 
it  seems  to  have  been  the  precursor  of  the  Deal  luggers. "     (Smyth.) 

Render  as  a  sea  term  has  several  meanings,  as  to  render  a  rope 
in  coiliwf, — so  to  coil  it  that  it  will  nin  off  without  hitch  or  kink. 
Hence  when  a  rope  runs  free  it  is  said  to  render. 

To  render  a  tackle. — To  yield  or  give  way  to  its  resistance,  to 
slacken  it  off,  etc. 

Repeat  signal. —  A  signal  to  some  person  or  ship  to  repeat 
a  signal  which  lias  not  been  properly  seen  or  understood. 

Respondentia. — "  A  loan  made  upon  goods  laden  in  a  ship, 
for  which  the  borrower  is  personally  responsible ;  differing  from 
bottomry,  where  the  ship  and  tackle  are  liable.  In  bottomry  the 
lender  runs  no  risk  though  the  goods  should  be  lost,  and  upon 
respondentia  the  lender  must  be  paid  his  principal  and  interest, 
though  the  ship  perish,  provided  the  goods  are  safe."     (Smyth.) 

Retreenailed. — Spoken  of  a  ship  when  she  has  had  thorough 
repair  and  new  treenails  put  into  her.  The  term  is  constantly  seen 
in  "Lloyd's  Register." 

Revenue  cutter. — A  cutter  rigged  vessel,  sharp-built  and  fast, 
formerly  employed  in  the  prevention  of  smuggling  and  enforcing  of 
Customs  regulations.     Not  a  few  of  these  vessels  are  still  left. 

Rhodings  (in  ships). — Bearings  on  which  the  axles  of  pumps  work. 

216  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEEMS. 

Rhumb. — In  navigation  "  the  track  of  a  ship  which  cuts  all  the 
meridians  at  the  same  angle.  A  ship  sailing  always  towards  the 
same  point  of  the  compass,  or  on  the  same  rhumb,  describes  a 
loxodromic  curve.  This  being  the  simplest  curve,  is  the  route 
universally  pursued ;  but  a  ship  sailing  on  this  curve  never  looks 
direct  for  her  port  until  it  comes  in  sight."  (Brande  and  Cox.) 
If,  then,  a  ship  moves  in  such  a  direction,  her  course  is  on  a 
rhumb-line,  and  the  distance  she  makes  is  her  nautical  distance. 
"  And  hence,"  says  Smyth,  "  seamen  distinguish  the  rhumb  by  the 
same  names  as  the  points  and  winds,  as  marked  on  the  end  of  the 
compass.  The  rhumb  line,  therefore,  is  a  line  prolonged  from  any 
point  of  the  compass  in  a  nautical  chart,  except  the  four  cardinal 
points ;  or  it  is  a  line  which  a  ship,  keeping  in  the  same  collateral 
point  or  rhumb,  describes  throughout  its  whole  course." 

Ribs. — The  timbers  which  form  the  skeleton  of  a  boat.  The 
ribs  in  a  ship  are  like  the  ribs  in  the  human  frame ;  they  are  lateral 
appendages  to  her  back- bone  or  keel,  encompassing  the  trunk  and 
preserving  the  cavity  of  the  hull. — Ribs  in  large  vessels  are  made  up 
of  several  pieces  called  futtocks,  head  timbers,  etc.  (see  FuTTOCK)  ; 
but  in  small  boats  they  may  be  of  one  piece  bent  to  the  shape  required, 
and  are  then  known  as  heads,  bent-heads  or  bent-timbers.  {See 
diagrams  under  FRAME. )  When  the  "  timbers"  of  a  vessel  are  spoken 
of  without  further  distinction,  the  term  frequently  means  her  ribs. 

Bibs  of  a  parrel. — Small  strips  of  wood  which,  in  combination 
with  wooden  beads  (called  trucks),  formed  the  yard  guides  or  parrels 
of  old  ships.  {See  Parrel.)  Hence  because  of  the  number  of  parts 
of  which  this  parrel  was  formed  the  term  ribs  and  trucks  has  come 
to  mean  "  fragments" 

Ribands,  or  ribbons. — Riband.— The  moulding  round  a  vessel's 
side,  or  the  painted  decoration.  A  sail  is  said  to  be  torn  to  ribbons 
when  it  is  so  damaged  by  the  wind  as  to  be  no  longer  of  any  use. 
Such  a  thing  is  by  no  means  so  impossible  as  the  term  might  imply  ; 
for  sails  are  frequently  torn  to  mere  shreds  by  the  force  of  a  gale. 

Ribbands  (in  shipbuilding). — Planks  bolted  outside  the  ribs 
to  give  stability  to  them  during  the  building  of  the  vessel. 

Ribband  shores. — Shores,  or  supports,  holding  up  the  frame  of  a 
ship  while  building. 

Richer,  or  grown-spar. — A  spar  made  out  of  a  young  tree,  in 
contradistinction  to  one  hewn  out  of  a  plank.  Puckers  are  stronger, 
more  elastic,  and  in  every  way  superior  to  hewn  spars.  They  may 
generally  be  recognized  by  their  knots,  which  will  naturally  be  small 
and  round. 

Ricochet. — "  Denotes  a  bound  or  leap,  such  as  a  flat  piece  of 
stone  makes  when  thrown  obliquely  along  the  surface  of  the  water. " 
Generally  spoken  with  reference  to  projectiles. 

Ride. — 1.  To  lie  at  anchor. 

Ride  athwart  wind  and  tide. — A  vessel  is  said  to  ride  thus  when, 
the  wind  and  tide  being  in  opposite  directions  with  about  the  same 

A    DICTIONAKY   OP    SEA    TEEMS.  217 

force,  she  lies  in  a  position  which  is  the  result  of  these  opposing 
forces,  and  that,  generally,  is  sideways  to  both. 

Bide  a1  port-last  (old  term).  —  Riding  with  the  lower  yards  on  the 
gunwales.    (See  Port-Last.) 

Ride  easy. — When  the  vessel  does  not  labour  or  strain. 

Bide  hard. — To  pitch  violently  in  the  sea  so  as  to  strain. 

Bide  out  a  gale,  to  live  through  it  without  dragging  the  anchor. 

2.  "A  rope  is  said  to  ride  when  one  of  the  turns  by  which  it  is 
wound  about  the  capstan  or  windlass  lies  over  another  so  as  to 
interrupt  the  operation  of  heaving." 

Biding  bitts.  —  Massive  frames  of  wood  or  iron  round  which  a 
cable  is  turned  when  a  ship  lies  at  anchor,  or  rides. 

Rider. — A  sort  of  interior  rib  fixed  occasionally  in  a  ship's  hold, 
when  she  has  been  enfeebled  by  service ;  though  she  may  be 
sometimes  built  with  them  for  extra  strength.  They  are  variously 
named  as  kelson  rider,  lower  futtoek  riders,  mid-futtock  riders,  etc. 
(See  diagrams  under  Frame.) 

Ridge. — A  long  group  of  rocks  near  the  surface  of  the  sea. 

Rig. — The  rig  of  a  vessel  is  the  manner  in  which  her  masts  and 
sails  are  fitted  to  her  hull.  There  can  be  but  two  rigs,  viz.,  square 
and  fore-and-aft.  The  first  is  that  in  which  the  sails  are  liung 
across  the  vessel,  as  in  ships  ;  the  second,  that  in  which  they  lie  in 
the  direction  of  her  length,  as  in  cutters,  yawls,  etc.  These  two,  in 
ships,  are  always  more  or  less  combined,  but  whenever  a  vessel 
carries  square  sails  she  is  said  (with  very  few  exceptions)  to  be 
square  rigged.  Yet  though  there  are  but  two  rigs,  the  variety  in 
each  is  almost  infinite.  The  following  list  will  give  some  idea  of 
those  most  commonly  seen  in  British  waters  ;  and  for  the  separate 
description  of  each,  reference  must  be  made  under  its  own  heading. 
It  must  be  noted,  however,  that  there  are  no  hard  and  fast  rules 
absolutely  distinguishing  vessels  closely  allied  in  the  disposition  of 
their  gear,  as,  for  instance,  are  sometimes  the  schooner  and  the 
brigantine.  The  rig  of  vessels  has,  moreover,  considerably  changed 
of  later  years.  The  tendency  of  all  modern  rigging  is  to  do 
gradually  away  with  square  sails.  Thus  the  barque,  which  always 
carried  them  on  her  fore  and  main  masts,  is  being  superseded  by  the 
barkentine,  in  which  they  are  set  only  on  the  foremast ;  while  in 
the  three-masted  schooner  they  either  disappear  altogether  or  are  set 
only  on  the  fore  topmast,  making  that  which  is  sometimes  called  the 
jack-ass  rig.  The  old  brig  has  long  since  given  way  to  the  brigantine 
of  modem  type,  and  is  now  rarely  seen,  the  majority  of  the  small 
two-masted  vessels  built  to-day  being  rigged  schooner  fashion. 

Kigs  of  British  sea-going  vessels:  —  (1)  Four-masted  ship*  (some- 
what rare) ;  (2)  Full-riggea I  ship  or  modem  frigate;  (3)  Three-masted 

*  "  Sailing  vessels  built  within  the  last  few  years  are  generally  of  large  size  when 
compared  with  those  built  twenty  years  since.  The '  Somali,'  a  four-masted  steel 
barque,  is  3,537  gross  tons  and  330  feet  long.  This  is  the  largest  owned  in  the 
United  Kingdom.  The  Germans  own  a  still  larger  vessel,  named 'Potosi.'  She  is 
a  five-masted  steel  barque  of  4,027  tons  gross  and  is  366  feet  long."— Lloyd's 
"  Seaman's  Almanac,"  1897. 



schooner  (sometimes  called  "jack-ass  rig");  (4)  Bark  ;  (5)  Barken- 
tine ;  (6)  Brig;  (7)  Brlgantine ;  (8)  Schooner  (commonly  called 
topsail  schooner)  ;  (9)  Ketch  (a  fore-and-aft  rig,  carrying  square  sail 
for  running)  ;  (10)  Topsail  barge  ;  (11)  Biver  barge  (carries  no  top- 
sail) ;  (12)  One,  Two,  or  Three-masted  lugger;  (13)  Schooner  yacht 
(occasionally  carries  a  square  fore-top-sail) ;  (14)  Yawl  (a  rig  well 
adapted  to  cruising  yachts) ;  (15)  Cutter  (favourite  rig  for  racing 
yachts) ;  (16)  Sloop  (often  seen  on  the  Norfolk  rivers) ;  (17)  Bermuda 
rig  (rare).  Fishing  smacks  and  hoats  are  of  various  rigs  :  yawl, 
cutter,  or  lugger. 

The  following  are  the  usual  rigs  of  hoats  :  Main  and  mizzen 
(both  masts  having  lug  sails)  ;  una  rig ;  cat  rig ;  leg  of  mutton 
sail ;    sprit    and    foresail ; 

dipping  lug ;  balance  lug 
(with  boom)  ;  standing  lug 
(without  boom)  ;  Clyde  lug 
(very  high) ;  sliding  gunter ; 
canoe  rig  (battened  sails)  ; 
main  and  foresail  (a  rig  for 
small  raters). 

IN-RIG  and  OUT-RIG. 
— Anything  which  does  not 
extend  beyond  the  side  of 
a  boat  is  said  to  be  in- 
rigged,  and  in  like  manner 
anything  projecting  may  be 
called  out-rigged.  Thus  a 
rowing  skiff  in  which  the 
rowlocks  are  on  the  side  of 
the  boat  itself  is  in-rigged, 
while  a  racing-shell,  in 
which  they  are  extended 
far  out  on  iron  brackets 
(out-riggers),  may  be  called 
out-rigged.  So  also  if  the 
shrouds  of  a  sailing  boat 
are  extended  beyond  the 
sides  they  are  out-rigged ; 
and  a  mizzen  set  so  far 
astern  that  it  must  be 
worked  by  a  bumpkin  is 
out  -  rigged.  (See  also 
under  lN-EIG  and  Oux- 

Rigging.— The  system 
of  cordage  in  a  vessel  by 
which  masts  are  supported 
and  sails  extended  and 
worked.  There  must  be  two 
sorts  of  rigging,  therefore, 



NO.  1. 



viz.,  stationary  and  movable:  the  first  is  called  standing  rigging, 
and  the  other  running  rigging. 

The  standing  rigging  consists  of  shrouds,  stays,  and  all  such  ropes 
or  chains  as  hold  spars  in  their  places. 

The  running  rigging  comprises  halyards,  sheets,  clew-lines,  and 
tacks,  and  all  moving  ropes  connected  with  the  sails,  flags,  etc. 

The  lower  rigging  implies  that  of  the  lower  masts,  the  upper  or 
topmast  rigging  that  of  the  topmasts  ;  and  these  terms  apply  no 
matter  what  the  rig  of  the  vessel  may  be. 

No.  2. 

No.  3. 

The  accompanying  diagrams  show  the  rigging  of  a  small  cutter 
yacht.  No.  1  is  the  standing  rigging ;  Nos.  2  and  3  show  the  run- 
ning rigging,  the  first  being  devoted  to  the  halyards,  the  second 
and  third  to  the  sheets.     The  various  parts  are  as  follow  : 

Standing  Rigging. 

Running  Rigging. 

No.  l. 

No.  2. 

NO.  3. 




The   shrouds,  termin- 


Main  or  throat  hal- 

1. Main  sheet. 

ating  in    the   dead- 


2.  Foresail      „ 



Peak  halyard. 

3.  Jib 



These  two  are  often 

4.  Jib  topsail ,, 



included     together 

5.  Topsail       ,, 


Topmast  shrouds,  ter- 

under    the     name 

6.  Maintack-trice; 

minating  in  the  legs. 

main  halyards. 

7.  Maintack  line. 


Topmast  forestay. 


Topping   lift. 

8.  Topsail  tack  line. 


Topmast         backstay, 


Foresail  halyards. 

often  called  ihe  Pre- 


Jib          „      „ 



Topsail    „      „ 




Jib-topsail     „ 


Bobstay       trice,      for 


Signal     „      „ 

drawing  up  the  bob- 


Flag     halyards,     or 

stay  while  at  anchor. 


Jib    inhaul. 
,,      outhaul. 

220  A   DICTION  AEY   OF    SEA    TEEMS. 

Rigging  out  is  fitting  out  or  "  dressing  "a  boat  when  she  leaves  the 
builder  to  be  prepared  for  sea.  The  term  is  also  used  with  respect 
to  the  fitting  of  her  out  for  a  cruise,  or  for  a  season  after  laying  up, 
and  consists  in  replacing  in  her  all  the  rigging  of  which  she  had 
been  denuded.  Yachts  are  often  laid  up  for  a  term,  or  during  the 
winter,  when  all  the  rigging  is  taken  down  and  the  hull  and  mast  are 
left  naked  ;  and  in  the  spring  they  are  rigged  out  again.  The  term 
rigging  is  practically  equivalent  to  "  dressing,"  and,  indeed,  has  its 
origin  in  the  Anglo-Saxon  wrigan,  to  dress. 

Rigging  loft  (in  dockyards). — A  loft  in  which  rigging  is  stored  for 
sale  or  prepared  for  ships. 

Right. — To  right  a  ship. — To  get  her  back  to  the  perpendicular 
when  she  has  careened  too  much  over,  by  putting  her  head  into  the 
wind.  When  she  comes  again  to  the  upright  she  is  said  to  have 
righted  herself  ;  and  a  vessel  which  rights  herself  without  difficulty 
is  said  to  possess  righting  power,  or,  to  use  the  more  common  phrase, 
to  be  stiff. 

To  right  the  helm. — To  place  the  tiller  of  a  rudder  in  a  right  line 
with  the  nose  of  the  vessel  so  that  the  rudder  ceases  to  act. 

Right  away. — An  expression  which,  when  used  at  sea,  may  imply 
"in  a  certain  direction  "  ;  as  Avhen  another  ship  may  be  sighted 
"  right  away  on  the  port  bow,"  etc. 

Right-handed  rope. — Rope  with  the  strands  twisted  "  with  the 
sun  " — i.e.,  in  the  most  usual  manner. 

Right  knot.—  Another  name  for  the  reef  knot.     (See  KNOTS.) 

Right  on  end. — In  a  continuous  line;  as  a  topmast  on  the  lower- 
mast  when  elevated. 

Right  up  and  down. — Said  of  the  wind  when  it  is  a  dead  calm. 

Rim. — The  edge  or  skirting  of  anything. 

Rind  gall.—"  The  injury  a  tree  receives  when  young,  so  that 
the  bark  or  rind  grows  into  the  inner  substance  of  the  tree. " 

Ring  (of  an  anchor). — The  ring  at  the  lower  end 
of  the  shaft.     (See  Anchob.) 

Ring-bolt. — A  bolt  with  a  ring  at  its  head.  It  is 
usually  passed  through  one  of  the  strong  timbers  of 
a  vessel  for  the  attachment  of  a  tackle  or  rope. 

Ring-ropes. — Ropes  which  were  sometimes  made  fast 
at  intervals  to  hempen  cables  so  as  to  give  them  greater    Kl!^G  bolts 
power  in  holding  the  ship  against  heavy  seas.     Hence 
a  rope  used  in  the  same  manner  on  any  hawser  may  be  called  a 
ring  rope. 

Ring-sail. — Apparently  the  same  as  the  ring-tail  (which  see). 

Ring-tail. — Sometimes  called  the  studsail  or  "  studs'l "  (evi- 
dently a  further  abbreviation  of  "  stuns'l, "  itself  an  abbreviation  of 
the  name  studding  sail). — A  sort  of  studding  sail  for  fore-and-aft 
rigged  craft.  It  is  a  narrow  strip  of  sail  set  out  beyond  the  leech  of 
the  mainsail  of  a  cutter,  or  any  similarly  rigged  boat.  Its  head  is 
stretched  on  a  small  yard  on  the  gaff,  and  its  foot  on  another  small 



spar  called  the  ring-tail  boom  (on  the  main 
boom),  both  of  which  rig  in  and  out  as  do 
the  booms  of  the  studding  sails  on  square 
rigged  ships.  This  sail  is  seldom  seen  except 
on  racing  yachts,  when  running  before  the 
wind  ;  and  then  not  often. 

Kip.— Tide  rip.     (See  Race.) 

Ripping-iron. — An  instrument  used  to 
rip  the  copper  off  the  bottom  of  a  vessel. 

Rising. — Rising  floors. — In  shipbuilding , 
the  floor  timbers  which,  gradually  rising 
from  the  plane  of  the  midship  floor  of  a 
ship,  give  the  shape  to  the  lower  parts  of 
the  bow  and  stem. 

Rising  line. — In  shipbuilding,  a  line  drawn 
on  the  sheer  plan  to  determine  the  height 
of  the  ends  of  all  the  floor  timbers  throughout  the  length  of  a  vessel. 

Rising  wood. — In  shipbuilding,  that  portion  of  the  keel  which 
rises  through  the  floors. 

Rivers.— Rivers,  as  sailing-grounds,  have  certain  advantages,  to 
amateurs,  over  the  open  sea.  Boats  are  more  easily  got  at  than  on 
the  coast ;  there  is  less  wear  and  tear,  and  more  days  on  which 
one  may  go  out.  At  the  same  time  winds  are  more  variable, 
sailing  is  in  some  of  its  branches  more  difficult,  as  well  as  more 

River  police. — (See  Metropolitan  Police.) 

Rivet.— A  metal  pin  clenched  at  both  ends  (often  while  hot). 

Roach,  or  roaching  (in  square 
rig). — The  curve  in  the  foot  or  leech 
of  a  square  sail.  It  is  so  cut  to  keep 
it  from  the  futtock  plates  and  ropes 
about  the  mast  (see  fig. ) 

Roadstead,  or  road. — A  place  of 
anchorage  at  a  distance  from  the  shore.     Thus  we  have  the  Yar- 
mouth Roads,  the  Margate  Roads,  and  others. 

A  good  road  is  one  well  protected  from  gales,  etc. 

An  open  road  is  one  open  or  unprotected. 

Roadster,  or  roader. — A  vessel  lying  in  a  road. 

Roarer. — A  name  sometimes  given  to  a  vessel  which  'makes  a 
loud  roaring  noise  as  she  moves  through  the  water.  This  is  the 
case  with  some  yachts,  and  is  generally  to  be  traced^  to  some 
peculiarity  of  formation  about  the  bows. 

Roast-beef  dress.— Full  uniform. 

Robins  (i.e.,  rope-bands). — Part  of  the  gear  of  a  square  sail. 
Small  ropes,  used  in  pairs,  one  leg  of  each  pair  being  longer  than 
the  other,  to  attach  the  head  of  the  sail  to  its  yard.  The  long  leg 
of  each  is  taken  two  or  three  times  round  the  yard  and^then  lashed 
to  the  short  leg. 



Roundrobiti. — A  method 
of  petitioning,  (See  under 

Rockered. — Rounded, 
as  the  keels  of  some  hoats 
are  rounded,  when  they 
are  called  rockered  or  drag 
keels.  It  is  mostly  seen 
in  small  boats  or  racing 
yachts  (see  fig.). 

Rocket. — Rockets  are 
used  at  sea,  by  night,  as 
signals  ;  and  if  the  weather 
be  foggy,  they  are  re- 
placed by  guns.  A  rocket 
sent  up  alone,  every  few 
minutes,  is  a  signal  of 

Rockered,  ok  Drag  Keel. 

Rocket  apparatus. — Instructions  issued  by  the  Board  of  Trade 
for  the  guidance  of  masters  and  seamen,  when  using  the  rocket 
apparatus  for  saving  life,  may  be  obtained  by  any  person  at  any 
mercantile  marine  office. 

Roger. — The  pirate's  flag ;  more  commonly  known  as  the  Jolly 
Roger.     It  is  black,  charged  with  a  white  skull  and  cross-bones. 

Roger's  blast  (at  sea). — A.  sudden  disturbance  of  the  atmosphere, 
resembling  a  small  whirlwind. 

Rogue's  yarn. — In  rope  manufactured  for  the  Royal  services, 
it  is  the  practice  to  interweave  one  yam  of  a  colour  different  from  the 
rest.  This  is  called  the  rogue's  yam,  because  it  can  be  identified  if 
stolen.  And,  moreover,  since  each  dockyard  may  have  its  distin- 
guishing colour,  a  rope  may  be  traced  back  to  the  place  at  which  it 
was  made,  which  is  a  wholesome  check  upon  defective  manufacture. 

Roll,  rolling. — The  oscillation  of  a  vessel  in  a  heavy  sea.  The 
result  of  heavy  rolling  may  sometimes  be  to  throw  sails  over  to  wind- 
ward and  back.  In  square  rigged  vessels  this  would  be  especially 
the  case  were  not  ropes  attached  to  the  sails  to  prevent  it ;  these 
ropes  and  their  blocks  constitute  what  is  called  rolling  tackle. 

Rollers. — 1.  Heavy  seas  (waves)  setting  in  without  wind ;  sometimes 
of  enormous  size  and  length,  as  may  often  be  seen  on  the  Cornish 
coast  or  along  the  shores  of  the  Bay  of  Biscay.  2.  On  shipboard, 
revolving  timbers  placed  where  constant  friction  of  ropes  occurs. 

Room. — Room  and  space. — In  shipbuilding  a  purely  teclmical 
term  referring  to  the  space  supported  by  each  rib  of  a  vessel. 
Rooming  (old  term). — "  To  leeward  "  (which  see). 
To  go  rooming. — To  bear  down  upon  anything. 

Roost. — "  A  phrase  applied  to  races  of  strong  and  furious  tides 
which  set  in  between  the  Orkney  and  Shetland  Islands ;  as  those  of 
Sun  burgh  and  the  Start." 

A    DICTIONARY   OF    SEA    TERMS.  223 

Rope. — Generally  speaking,  cordage  above  one  inch  in  circumfer- 
ence. A  rope,  technically,  is  a  twist  of  a  certain  number  of  strands 
of  hempen  fibre  ;  a  strand  being  a  number  of  yarns,  and  a  yarn  a 
certain  proportion  of  twisted  fibres.  Three  strands  form  a  rope  ; 
though  four-stranded  manilla  is  now  largely  used  on  yachts. 

Rope  is  of  several  kinds. 

Italian  hemp  is  the  best,  and  when  worn  out  is  always  saleable. 

Manilla  (from  the  fibres  of  a  species  of  wild  banana),  being  of  a 
softer  nature,  is  very  suitable  to  yachts,  but  it  is  expensive,  and  to 
take  its  place,  fash  rope,  an  inferior  kind  of  manilla,  is  often  used. 

Coir  rope  is  made  of  the  fibrous  husk  of  cocoanut. 

Bass  warp  is  very  light  with  strands  interwoven. 

Rope  is  either  hawser  (sometimes  called  shroud)  laid — when  it  is 
made  up  of  three  or  four  strands ;  or  cable  (cablet  or  water)  laid — 
when  it  has  three  great  strands,  each  being  made  up  of  three  small 
ones,  twisted  left-handed. 

The  size  of  rope  is  designated  by  its  circumference  expressed  in 
inches  ;  as  a  "  9in.  rope,"  which  is  one  9in.  round.  It  is  issued  in 
coils ;  sold  by  the  lb.  weight ;  and  its  length  measured  in  fathoms. 


Its  strength  in  ,tons  dead  weight  =  circum5ference  about.     Its  weight 


in  lbs.  per  fatliom  =  circnm4ference  about.  "  Rope  is  either  white  or 
tarred,  the  latter  being  the  best  if  liable  to  exposure  to  wet,  the 
former  if  not  exposed.  The  strength  of  tarred  ropo  is,  however, 
only  about  three-fourths  that  of  white  rope,  and  its  loss  of  strength 
increases  with  time." 

In  rigging,  the  standing  part  of  a  rope  is  the  part  fixed ;  the 
running  part,  that  part  which  is  hauled  upon. 

A  bight  is  a  bend  in  a  rope  whether  in  making  a  knot  or  for  any 
other  purpose.  Rope  when  wet  swells  in  diameter  and  shrinks  in 
length ;  this  should  be  allowed  for  when  tightening  up  dry  ropes  which 
are  to  be  left  standing  for  any  length  of  time,  or  even  for  one  night. 
New  rope  is  stiff.  This  may  be  taken  off  to  some  extent  by  steeping  in 
boiling  water  and  stretching  while  hot.  When  a  rope  gets  partly 
worn  through  it  is  said  to  fret;  when  its  end  becomes  loose  it 

Mope  bands.— (See  Robins.) 

Rope  end. — A  punishment.  The  infliction  of  a  whipping  with  a 
short  rope. 

Rope  of  sand. — A  thing  without  cohesion.  A  people  who  cannot 
combine,  but  who  at  critical  moments  separate  and  thus  lose  their 
object ;  the  principal  failing  of  many  communities  of  seamen,  more 
especially,  perhaps,  of  coast  men.  "  A  term  borrowed  from  a  Greek 
proverb  signifying  attempting  impossibilities.'' 

Rope  yarn. — The  smallest  component  part  of  a  rope.  (See  above.) 
It  also  means  the  untwisted  yarn  of  old  rope  (junk),  for  which 
there  are  a  multitude  of  uses  on  ship-board. 

On  the  high  ropes. — Ceremonious,  puffed  up,  proud,  etc. 

224  A    DICTIONAEY   OF    SEA    TEBMS. 

Rose  lashings. — Fanciful  or  decorated  lashings  with  rope. 

Rough. — Unfinished.  Hence  : — Rough  knots  (properly  "  rough 
nauts,"  abbreviated  from  "  nauticals"),  unsophisticated  seamen. 

Bough  spars. — Those  in  an  unfinished  condition. 

Bough  tree,  or  rough  tree  timbers. — The  stanchions  supporting  the 
rough  tree  rail,  also  the  tree  out  of  which  a  spar  is  to  be  made. 

Bough-tree  rail. — The  topmost  rail  round  a  vessel's  bulwarks. 
Also,  an  old  term  used  on  trading  ships  for  almost  any  long  piece 
of  timber  placed  as  a  rail  above  the  ship's  side. 

Round. — To  round  in  —  to  haul  in.  "  To  round  in  generally 
implies  to  pull  upon  any  slack  rope  which  passes  through  one  or 
more  blocks  in  a  direction  nearly  horizontal,"  and  is  particularly 
applied  to  the  braces.  It  is  apparently  derived  from  the  circular 
motion  of  the  rope  about  the  sheave  through  which  it  passes. 
"  To  round  up  is  used  in  nearly  the  same  sense,  only  it  is  expressed 
of  a  tackle  which  hangs  in  a  perpendicular  direction  without  sus- 
taining or  hoisting  any  weighty  body."     (Falconer.) 

To  round  to. — To  bring  a  vessel  "  head  to  wind." 

Bound  turn. — The  passing  of  a  rope  once  round  a  timber  or  post 
so  as  to  be  able  to  suddenly  stop  some  motion,  or  temporarily 
hold  on. 

Bound  house. — Apparently  so  called  because  it  was  possible  to 
walk  round  it.  On  old  ships  it  was  a  square  cabin  on  the  after  part 
of  the  deck,  and  in  men-of-war  was  sometimes  called  the  "  coach." 
Later,  it  was  built  abaft  the  main  mast.  To-day  it  is  not  so 
often  seen. 

Bound  robin. — "  A  compact  or  agreement  entered  into  by  seamen, 
when  they  have  cause  of  complaint  against  their  superior  officer, 
to  state  their  grievances  to  the  Admiralty  or  commander-in-chief, 
and  to  endeavour  to  obtain  redress  without  subjecting  any  one 
individual  more  than  another  to  be  thought  the  leader  or  chief 
mover.  The  term  appears  to  be  a  corruption  of  ruban  rond,  as 
their  complaints  are  generally  stated  in  a  circular  form,  and  the 
signatures  written  all  round  them,  so  that  none  appear  first. " 

Bound  dozen. — Thirteen.  In  old  days  a  round  dozen  meant 
thirteen  lashes  with  the  cat. 

Bound  ribbed. — Spoken  of  the  shape  of  a  vessel  when  her  sides 
are  very  much  curved. 

Bounding  a  rope. — Serving  it.  Much  the  same  as  heckling 
(which  see.) 

Boundly. — Quickly. 

Bounds  or  rungs. — The  cross  pieces  forming  the  steps  of  a  wooden 
ladder.  At  sea  the  rounds  forming  the  steps  up  the  shrouds  of  a 
vessel  are  called  the  ratlines,  or  rattlings. 

Roust. — [See  RoosT.) 

Rovens.  —  1.  A  pronunciation  of  the  word  robins  (more 
properly  rope-bands).     2.  Ra veilings  of  canvas  or  bunting. 

Row. — Bowing. — The  propulsion  of  a  boat  by  oars,  not  by  sculls, 
that  being,    in   the  language  of   boating    men,    called    sculling. 



The  art  of  rowing  is  not  easily  learned.  The  best  schools  are  the 
universities,  but  the  various  rowing  clubs  of  the  Thames  also 
produce  very  perfect  oarsmen.  Those  who  would  know  more  of  the 
subject  may  be  referred  to  the  treatise  on  rowing  in  the  Badminton 

Row  dry. — To  row  without  splashing ;  just  as  to  row  wet  is  to 
splash  a  good  deal. 

"  Row  off  all !  " — The  order  to  rowers  to  cease  rowing,  and  lay 
upon  their  oars ;  but  the  term  "  easy  all "  is  much  of  tener  em- 

Row  in  the  same  boat. — Equivalent  to  riding  in  the  same  curricle 
with  another  person  ;  that  is,  being  in  the  same  situation  or  holding 
the  same  views. 

Rowbowline. — (See  Rumbowline.) 

Howl. — A  single  block  or  pulley.  "  The  iron  or  wood  shiver 
or  wheel  for  a  whip  tackle." 

Rowlock  (pronounced  "rullock").— -The  rowlock,  as  the  name 
implies,  is  a  lock  or  holding  portion  for  growing  machine,  i.e.,  an 
oar ;  it  is,  in  fact,  the  fulcrum  from 
which  an  oar  obtains  its  leverage. 
There  are  fixed  rowlocks,  some- 
times called  tholes  (but  not  cor- 
rectly, because  tholes,  properly 
speaking,  are  pins),  and  swivel-row- 
locks, which  revolve  upon  pivots, 
turning  in  holes  made  to  receive 
them  in  the  gunwale  of  a  boat. 
The  swivel-rowlocks  have  certain 
advantages  over  the  fixed  in  that 
a  longer  stroke  may  be  taken  by 
their  use,  and  that  sculls  or  oars 
may  be  brought  alongside  a  boat 
instead  of  lifted  out  or  shipped 
when  passing  very  close  to  any 
object.  They  are  nearly  always 
found  in  boats  with  a  gunwale, 
but  in  such  skiffs  as  those  built 
on  the  Upper  Thames,  the  absence 
of  a  gunwale  necessitates  an  ar- 
rangement of  fixed  rowlocks,  in 
consequence  of  which  the  oars  and 
sculls  made  for  use  on  these  waters 
are  nearly  always  square  in  the 
loom..  There  can  be  no  doubt 
that  the  fixed  rowlock  is  more 
elegant  than  the  swivel,  and  to 
up-river  men  the  sound  of  the 
measured  rattle  as  the  square  oars 

fall  to  the  feather  is  very  musical.        Various  Forms  of  Rowlocks. 




For  rough  rowing,  however,  use  has  to  give  way  to  appearance,  and 
the  swivel  is  undeniably  the  more  useful.  Sailing  boats  have  often 
ihe  rowlocks  cut  out  of  the  gunwale's  strake,  so  that  they  may  be 
out  of  the  way  of  all  sails,  sheets,  etc.  ;  and  to  preserve  the  height 
of  the  freeboard  a  slide  Ls  usually  fitted  over  them,  when  under  sail. 
(See  also  Tholes.) 

Rowse. — To  pull  on  a  rope  without  tackle. 

"Bowse  away /"  "  Rowse  away  cheerily  !"  etc.,  are  encouraging 
exhortations  on  the  part  of  an  officer  to  men  hauling  on  a  rope. 

Royal. — Royal  mast. —  The  mast  in  a  ship,  bark,  brig,  etc., 
above  the  top-gallant,  and  named  according  to  the  lower  mast  upon 
which  it  rises,  as  fore-royal,  main-royal,  etc.  The  royal  mast  is 
the  highest  ordinary  mast  in  a  ship,  and  carries  the  royal  sail  and 
sky  sail. 

Royal  sail. — The  sail  on  the  royal  mast,  and  named  accordingly — 
as  main-royal,  etc. 

Royal  yard. — The  yard  which  carries  the  royal  sail.  It  comes 
down  to  the  top-gallant  yard  when  the  sails  are  furled. 

Rubber.—"  In  sail-making  a  small  iron  implement  fixed  in  a 
wooden  handle  and  used  to  nib  down  or  flatten  the  seams  of  the 
sails. " 

Rubbing  piece,  or  wale. — A  beading  of  wood  or  rope 
running  round  the  outside  of  a  boat  just  beneath  the  gunwale  to 
protect  it  against  injury  in  touching  quays,  piers,  or  other  boats. 
(See  Wale.) 

Ruck. — A  measure  of  string. 

Rucking. — Easing  down  a  gaff  sail  lapidly,  by  lowering  on  the 
peak  and  throat  halyards.  It  may  be  necessary  in  case  of  a  sudden 
gust  or  to  run  before  a  squall. 

Rudder  (Anglo-Saxon,  steor-roper) . — That  instrument  by  which 
a  vessel  is  steered.  Tiphys  is  said  to  have  been  its  inventor. 
The  rudder  is  hung  upon  the  stern  post  of  a  vessel  by  means  of 
gudgeons  and  pintles,  otherwise  called  rudder  bands  or  braces. 

Its  parts  are    as   follow  : — A  is  the  head  over  which   the   tiller 
(B)  fits ;   or   into  which  it  is 
inserted  as  at  C  ;  or  the  tiller       q 
may  take  the  form  of  a  yoke    / — 71 
as   at   D.     E  is  the   stock  or  q      f      ^ 
neck,  F  is  the  pintle  or  brace,     p^  I 
and  G  the  gudgeon,  or  rudder 
band;    these    last    two    (the 
gudgeon  and  the  pintle)  con- 
stituting what  are  sometimes 
called    the    rudder    irons,    or 
forelocks.      The  rudder  rake 
is  the  shape  of  the  aftermost 
part.      The    bearding    is    the 



Barge  Rudders  (Wide). 

In  vessels  of  great  draught  the  rudder  is  narrow — that  is,  extends 
but  a  little  way  from  the  stern  post ;  in  those  of  small  draught 
it  is  proportionately  wider  (or  extends  further  out),  until,  in 
flat  bottomed  vessels, 
such  as  barges,  it  is 
very  wide.  "When 
carried  to  a  consider- 
able breadth,  as  in 
the  Chinese  vessels,  it 
is  pierced  ^ith  holes, 
which  preserves  an  in- 
creased leverage  with 
a  diminished  direct 
resistance  from  the 
water. "  (Brande  and 
Cox.)  This  principle 
of  boring  holes  in  the  rudder  has  occasionally  been  followed  in  certain 
English  craft ;  but  it  is  unusual.  With  respect  to  small  sailing 
boats  we  find  that  rudders  are  larger  and  deeper  on  smooth  waters 
than  on  the  coast,  for  river  craft  cany  a  great  spread  of  canvas, 
which  lays  them  over  to  a  very  considerable  extent ;  and  were  the 
rudder  narrow  or  wanting  in  depth 
it  would  be  brought  so  much  out 
of  the  water  that  its  command 
over  the  boat  would  be  gone.  So 
also  in  the  case  of  very  long  row 
boats,  such  as  the  Thames  skiffs, 
as  well  as  in  racing  boats,  the 
rudder  is  increased  in  width,  both 
on  account  of  the  boats'  length 
and  the  speed  with  which  they  are 
intended  to  travel. 

The  rudder  is  worked  by  means 
of  the  tiller.  The  tiller  is  a  handle 
or  bar  at  the  head  of  the  rudder. 
It  is  one  of  the  component  parts 
of  the  helm.  {See  Helm.)  In 
small  craft  it  is  moved  by  hand ; 
in  large,  by  a  wheel ;  while  in 
long  row  boats,  where  the  steers- 
man sits  too  far  amidships  to  be 
able  to  give  it  the  necessary  sweep, 
it  is  worked  by  ropes,  called  rudder 
lines,  or  yoke  lines  ;  and  in  this  case 
it  ceases  to  be  a  bar,  and  becomes, 
as  above  mentioned,  a  flat  plate, 

called  the  yoke.  The  lines  are  sometimes  crossed,  enabling  the 
rudder  to  be  pulled  over  to  a  greater  angle,  which,  in  a  long  racing 
boat,  gives  the  steersman  an  increased  command  over  his  boat's 

Q   2 

228  A   DICTIONABY   OF    SEA    TEEMS. 

movement.  In  certain  small  craft,  having  two  masts,  the  mizzen 
stands  before  the  rudder  head  and  impedes  the  sweep  of  the  tiller. 
It  then  becomes  necessary  to  devise  some  means  by  which  the  tiller 
may  be  brought  over  without  interference.  The  accompanying 
diagrams  will  best  illustrate  the  means  usually  employed.  In  the 
lirst,  the  distance  from  the  rudder  head  to  the  steersman  is  short, 
and  the  tiller  is  simply  bent  as  shown.  In  the  second,  however, 
the  distance  is  very  long,  and  a  double  yoke  is  used, — the  first  on 
the  rudder  itself,  the  second  (to  which  a  small  false  tiller  is  fitted) 
being  placed  before  the  impeding  mast. 

Rudder  chains  and  pendants. — Chains  shackled  to  the  rudder  for 
preventing  its  loss  in  case  of  being  carried  away  in  a  heavy  sea. 
The  chains  terminate  in  short  ropes,  called  the  pendants,  which  are 
made  fast  to  the  stern  of  the  vessel.  We  sometimes  find  these  in 
barges.  In  vessels  steered  by  a  wheel,  the  chains  by  which  the 
wheel  works  the  tiller  are  also  called  rudder-chains  or  tiller  chains. 

Rudder  case,  or  rudder  trunk. — A  casing  of  wood  fitted  round  the 
helmport — i.e.,  the  hole  through  which  the  stock  of  the  rudder 
passes  when  the  boat  has  a  counter. 

Rudder  chocks  (at  sea). — Wedges  used  in  emergency  to  fix  the 
rudder  should  it  become  unmanageable. 

Rudder  house. — The  wheelhouse  on  a  ship.     (See  under  Deck.) 

Rule  of  the  road  (at  sea). — The  popular  name  for  the  Inter- 
national Steering  and  Sailing  Rules  included  under  Articles  14 
to  23  of  the  Regulations  for  Preventing  Collisions  at  Sea.  They 
are  as  follow : 

Art.  14. — When  two  sailing  ships  are  approaching  one  another,  so 
as  to  involve  risk  of  collision,  one  of  them  shall  keep  out  of  the 
way  of  the  other  as  follows,  viz. — (a)  A  ship  which  is  running  free 
shall  keep  out  of  the  way  of  a  ship  which  is  close-hauled.  (6)  A  ship 
which  is  close-hauled  on  the  port  tack  shall  keep  out  of  the  way  of 
a  ship  which  is  close-hauled  on  the  starboard  tack,  (c)  When  both 
are  running  free  with  the  wind  on  different  sides,  the  ship  which  has 
the  wind  on  the  port  side  shall  keep  out  of  the  way  of  the  other. 
(d)  When  both  are  running  free  with  the  wind  on  the  same  side,  the 
ship  which  is  to  windward  shall  keep  out  of  the  way  of  the  ship 
which  is  to  leeward,  (e)  A  ship  which  has  the  wind  aft  shall  keep 
out  of  the  way  of  the  other  ship. 

Art.  15,  which  applies  only  to  cases  where  ships  are  meeting  end 
on,  or  nearly  so.  if  two  ships  under  steam  are  meeting  end  on,  or 
nearly  end  on,  so  as  to  involve  risk  of  collision,  each  shall  alter 
her  course  to  starboard,  so  that  each  may  pass  on  the  port  side  of 
the  other. 

Art.  16. — If  two  ships  under  steam  are  crossing,  so  as  to  involve 
risk  of  collision,  the  ship  which  has  the  other  on  her  own  starboard 
side  shall  keep  out  of  the  way  of  the  other. 

Art.  17. — If  two  ships,  one  of  which  is  a  sailing  ship,  are  proceed- 
ing in  such  directions  as  to  involve  risk  of  collision,  the  steam-ship 
shall  keep  out  of  the  way  of  the  sailing  ship. 


Art.  18. — Every  steam-ship,  when  approaching  another  ship,  so  as 
to  involve  risk  of  collision,  shall  slacken  her  speed  or  stop  and 
reverse,  if  necessaiy. 

Art.  19,  to  be  used  only  when  a  steam-ship  has  another  in  sight, 
and  never  in  fog,  "  recent  cases  showing  the  great  imprudence  and 
danger  of  altering  the  course  of  a  vessel  to  avoid  another  vessel 
which  is  not  in  sight,  and  whose  position  it  is  impossible  correctly  to 
determine." — In  taking  any  course  authorised  or  required  by  these 
regulations,  a  steam-ship  under  way  may  indicate  that  course  to 
any  other  ship  which  she  has  in  sight  by  the  following  signals  on 
her  steam  whistle  : — One  short  blast  to  mean  "  I  am  directing  my 
course  to  starboard."  Two  short  blasts  to  mean  "  I  am  directing  my 
course  to  port."  Three  short  blasts  to  mean  "  I  am  going  full  speed 
astern."  {Four  or  more  blasts  mean  that  the  ship  cannot  give  way.) 
Art.  20. — Notwithstanding  anything  contained  in  any  preceding 
article,  every  ship,  whether  a  sailing  ship  or  a  steam -ship,  over- 
taking any  other,  shall  keep  out  of  the  way  of  the  overtaken  ship. 

Art.  21. — In  narrow  channels  every  steam-ship  shall,  when  it  is 
safe  and  practicable,  keep  to  that  side  of  the  fair-way  or  mid- 
channel  which  lies  on  the  starboard  side  of  such  ship. 

Art.  22. — Where,  by  the  above  rules,  one  of  the  two  ships  is  to 
keep  out  of  the  way,  the  other  shall  keep  her  course. 

Art.  23. — In  obeying  and  construing  these  rules,  due  regard 
shall  be  had  to  all  dangers  of  navigation,  and  to  any  special 
circumstances  which  may  render  a  departure  from  the  above  rules 
necessaiy  in  order  to  avoid  immediate  danger. 

These  rules,  then,  resolve  themselves  into  two  orders  :  1.  Those  for 
sailing  vessels ;  2.  Those  for  steam-ships.  And  since,  in  the  case  of 
the  latter,  it  has  been  found  useful  to  boil  them  down,  as  it  were, 
into  a  set  of  doggerel  rhymes,  as  "  aids  to  the  memory,"  the  same 
may  also  be  done  with  the  former.  The  following  are  the  four  verses 
applying  to  steam-ships,  by  the  late  Thomas  Gray,  C.B.  : 
"  When  both  side  lights  you  see  ahead — 

Port  your  helm,  and  show  your  Red. 

Green  to  Green — or  Red  to  Red — 

Perfect  safety — go  ahead  ! 

If  to  your  starboard  Red  appear, 

It  is  your  duty  to  keep  clear  ; 

To  act  as  judgment  says  is  proper  ; 

To  Port — or  Starboard — Back — or,  Stop  her  ! 

But  when  upon  your  Port  is  seen 

A  Steamer's  Starboard  Light  of  Green 

There's  not  so  much  for  you  to  do, 

For  Green  to  Port  keeps  clear  of  you. 

Both  in  safety  and  in  doubt, 

Always  keep  a  good  look-out ; 

In  danger,  with  no  room  to  turn, 

Ease  her  !    Stop  her  I    Go  astern  ! " 


So  far  as  the  sailing  rules  are  concerned,  and  particularly  with 
reference  to  amateur  boat-sailing  and  yachting,  the  following  verses 
may  be  found  useful  {Art.  14,  above)  : 

(a)  Am  I  sailing  free  and  fair  ? 

Of  craft  close-hauled  I  must  beware. 

(b)  Am  I  close-hauled  on  the  Port  ? 

To  Starboard  tack  give  way  I  ought. 

(c)  Two  trim  built  vessels  sailing  free 
With  wind  on  different  sides  I  see  ; 
She  with  the  wind  a  port  gives  way, 
Because  it  is  the  rule  of  day. 

(d)  On  the  same  tack  if  two  run  near, 
She  to  the  windward  must  keep  clear  ; 

(e)  And  he  who  has  the  wind  abaft 
Must  give  the  way  to  other  craft. 

Runibo. — Rope  stolen  from  a  dockyard. 

Rumbowline. — Condemned  canvas,  rope,  etc.  Also  the  coarse 
rope  which  secures  new  coils  of  rope. 

Bum  gagger. — One  who  gags  (tells  improbable  stories)  in  the 
hopes  of  getting  rum  for  his  trouble. 

Rum-turn  race. — A  race  among  Thames  rowing  men  in  boats 
supplied  to  them  by  the  clubs  to  which  they  belong.  But  few 
of  the  watermen  are  able  to  afford  best  boats ;  but  by  this  method 
almost  all  can  now  enter  for  professional  races.  The  boats 
thus  supplied  are  not  first-class  racers,  but  are  fitted  with  sliding 
seats  and  are  full  out-rigged.  The  practice  of  rum-tum  racing  has 
only  been  instituted  within  the  last  few  years. 

Run  (in  naval  architecture). — The  run  of  a  vessel,  occasionally 
called    the    rake,   is  the  angle    its 

under    surface    makes    in    running — 3» 

from  beneath  the  greatest  width  of     \.  **>^l 

beam  up    to    the    counter :     or,   in         ^ ' 

other   words,   it    is    the    backward 

sweep  of  the   under  part  of  the  hull.     Much  of  the  speed  of  a 

boat  depends  upon  the  run  given  her  in  designing. 

To  run,  in  sailing,  or  run  before  the  wind,  is  to  be  sailing  with 
the  wind  aft,  or  very  nearly  so.  In  centreboard  boats  the  board  is 
triced  up  when  running  before  the  wind.  This  is  the  time  to  be 
careful  of  gybing  (which  see). 

To  run  down  another  vessel  is  to  run  into  her. 

To  run  out  a  warp  or  cable  is  to  carry  the  end  out  away  from 
a  ship. 

To  run  the  gauntlet. — A  species  of  punishment.     (See  Gauntlet.  ) 

To  let  run  a  rope,  is  to  let  it  run  quite  loose. 

In  the  rigging  of  a  vessel : — 

Runners. — The  back  stays  of  a  mast,  which,  being  fastened  to 
pendants,  or  short  ropes,  are  movable,  and  can,  therefore,  be  let  run. 

A   DICTIONARY   OF    SEA    TERMS.  231 

Running  part. — 1.  (Of  a  rope). — The  end  which  is  not  fastened. 
2.  (Of  a  tackle).— The  part  which  runs  in  the  blocks.    (See  Tackle.) 

Running  rigging. — (See  under  RIGGING.) 

Runner  tackle. — A  tackle  applied  to  the  running  end  of  a  rope 
or  tackle. 

Rung. — The  step  of  a  ladder. 

Rung-heads. — In  ship-building,  a  name  occasionally  given  to  the 
flow-heads  of  a  vessel.     (See  under  FLOOR.) 

Runners. — (See  under  Run.) 

Rut  (of  the  sea). — The  breaking  waves  along  the  coast. 


Saccade. — "  The  sudden  jerk  of  the  sails  in  light  winds,  and  a 
heavy  swell . "  ( S  myth . ) 

Sack  of  coals. — "  The  seaman's  name  for  the  black  Magellanic 
clouds,  or  patches  of  deep  blue  sky  in  the  Milky  Way  near  the 
South  Pole."   (Smyth.) 

Saddle. — A  rest  for  any  spar,  etc.  A  bracket  or  ring  on  the 
lower  part  of  a  mast,  acting  as  a  rest,  or  "  saddle,"  for  the  jaws  of  a 
boom.    (See  Boom- Stays.) 

Sag,  sagging. — A  dropping  or  depression ;  and  therefore,  in  a 
keel,  the  opposite  to  "  hogging"  (which  see). 

To  sag  to  leeward  is  to  make  considerable  lee-way. 

The  sag  of  a  rope. — Its  bellying  or  drop,  when  extended. 

Sail. — The  following  refers  to  the  sails  of  a  full-rigged  ship. 
"  Sails  take  their  names  from  the  mast,  yard  or  stay  upon  which 
they  are  stretched.  Thus  the  principal  sail  extended  upon  the 
mam  mast  is  called  the  main  sail;  the  next  above,  which  stands 
upon  the  main  top-mast,  is  the  main  top-sail;  above  which  is  the 
main  top-gallant-sail;  and  above  all,  the  main  royal.  In  like 
manner,  there  are  the  foresail,  the  fore  top-sail,  the /ore  top-gallant- 
sail,  and  the  fore  royal,  although  the  square  foresail  is  very  rarely 
used,  from  the  circumstance  that  it  would  take  the  wind  out  of  all 
the  jibs ;  and  similar  appellations  are  given  to  the  sails  supported  by 
the  mizzen  or  after-mast.  The  main  stay-sail,  main-top- mast  stay- 
sail, etc.,  are  between  the  main  and  fore  masts ;  and  the  mizzen 
stay-sail,  mizzen  top-mast  stay-sail,  etc.,  are  between  the  main  and 
mizzen  masts.  These  are,  however,  employed  only  in  dead  calms 
and  under  exceptional  circumstances.  Between  the  foremast  and 
bowsprit  are  the  fore  stay-sail  (commonly  called  the  fore-sail),  the 
jib,  and  sometimes  &  flying  jib  and  middle  jib  ;  and  the  studding  sails 
are  those  which  are  extended  upon  booms  run  out  beyond  the  arms 
of  the  different  yards  of  the  main  mast  and  fore  mast."  (Brande  and 
Cox.)  To  the  square  sails  on  each  mast  may  be  added  one  or  more, 
above  all  the  rest,  called  respectively  the  sky  sail,  moon-raker,  and 
jumper,  or  jolly  jumper  (but  the  two  last  are  very  rarely  seen) ;  and 
below  the  lower  studding  sails  occasionally,  another  called  the  water 

232  A   DICTIONARY   OF    SEA    TERMS. 

sail  or  save  all.  Such  canvas  is  commonly  called,  by  seamen,  kites, 
and  the  setting  of  them  in  a  light  breeze  is  called  flying  kites,  from 
which  we  have  an  expression  often  used  in  general  conversation,  aa 
when  a  man  makes  a  great  deal  of  show  with  paper  money,  he  is 
said  to  be  flying  kites.  But  the  tendency  of  all  modern  rigging  is 
to  do  away  with  square  sails  in  favour  of  those  set  fore-and-aft, 
which  are  found  to  be  handier.    (See  under  RlG.) 

A  square  sail  is  one  bent  to  a  yard  and  balanced  across  the  ship. 
Fore-and-aft  sails  are  those  set  in  the  direction  of  the  length  of 
a  vessel. 

Stay-sails  are  triangular  (or  jib-shaped)  sails  running  on  stays 
between  masts  or  from  a  mast  to  a  bowsprit.  They  belong  to 
square  rig. 

Studding-sails  (used  only  in  square  rig)  are  bent  to  short  booms 
run  out  beyond  the  yards,  to  increase  the  lateral  spread  of  the 
square  sails. 
A  gaff-sail  is  one  bent  to  a  gaff.  (See  Gaff.) 
A  lug-sail  is  bent  to  a  yard  which  is  slung  in  a  fore-and-aft 
direction.  It  is  common  to  the  open  boat,  and  is  of  various  forms. 
(See  Lug.) 

A  sprit-sail  is  one  extended  by  a  sprit,  which  is  a  spar  passing 
diagonally  across  it.     (See  SPRIT.) 

A  spinnaker  is  a  racing  sail  for  yachts,  run  out  at  right  angles  to 
the  mast  on  the  side  opposite  to  that  over  which  the  main-sail 
stands;  only  used  when  running  dead  before  a  wind.  (See  SPIN- 

A  leg  of  mutton  sail  (in  fore-and-aft  rig)  is  a  triangular  sail, 
its  foot  extended  on  a  boom  and  its  apex  attached  to  the  head  of  a 
pole-mast :  it  is  supposed  to  resemble  a  leg  of  mutton  in  shape.  It 
is  a  sail  well  suited  to  small  boats.     (See  Mudian.) 

A  lateen  sail  is  one  extended  on  a  yard  of  great  length,  which  is 
made  fast  to  the  bow  of  the  boat,  and  runs  high  into  the  air.  It 
is  common  to  the  Mediterranean  and  Eastern  seas,  and  was  at  one 
time  much  used  in  Norfolk  and  Suffolk.     (See  Lateen.) 

Headsails  are  those  at  the  head  of  a  vessel,  as  the  fore-sail  and 
jib  in  a  cutter. 

Storm  sails  are  smaller  and  of  stouter  canvas  than  those  in 
general  use,  and  are  often,  even  in  small  yachts,  tanned.  They 
are  used  in  bad  weather,  in  winter,  or  for  rough  work. 

Trysails  are  small  sails  answering  to  storm  sails.  But  when  the 
trysail  is  spoken  of  it  means  a  gaff  sail  without  a  boom.  (See 

Flying  sails  are  small  head  sails  set  out  beyond  those  in  every- 
day use,  such  as  flying  jibs,  jib  topsail,  etc.,  in  yachts;  and  the 
"flying  jibs  "  in  square  rig. 

A  sail  set  flying  (spoken  mostly  of  headsails,  jibs,  etc.)  is  one 
stretched  by  its  halyards  alone,  i.e.,  a  sail  not  running  on  any 
stay.  When  it  does  run  on  a  stay  it  is  said  to  be  set  standing. 
(See  Set.) 



Battened  sails  are  those  on  which  battens  (splines  of  wood)  are 
fitted,  both  to  keep  them  flat,  as  well,  in  some  cases,  as  to  assist 
in  reefing.  They  are  usually  restricted  to  small  craft.  (See  under 

Balloon  sails,  used  in  yacht  racing,  are  immense  spreads  of  canvas, 
generally  in  the  form  of  foresails  and  spinnakers.  The  complete 
racing  equipment  of  a  racing  yacht  constitutes  that  which  is  called 
her  balloon,  or  press  canvas  (which  see). 

A  sail  is  said  to  be  bent  to  its  yard  or  mast.  To  make  sail  is 
to  set  sail.  To  spring  a  sail  is  also  to  set  it.  To  shorten  sail  is  to 
take  in  some  sail,  or  to  reef  it.  To  loose  sail  is  to  spread  or  to 
hang  out  in  their  places  sails  that  have  been  furled,  either  prepara- 
tory to  setting  them,  or  to  air  them.  To  strike  a  sail  is  to  lower 
its  yard  or  gaff  in  token  of  salute.  To  reef  a  sail  is  to  tie  up  part 
of  it  so  that  it  may  present  a  smaller  area.  (See  Reef.)  To  furl 
a  sail  is  to  fold  it  entirely  up  on  its  yard  or  boom. 

"  Sail-cloth  is  made  in  bolts,  mostly  24in.  wide,  but  also  18in. 
wide,  and,  for  yachting  purposes,  frequently  still  less  wide,  upon  the 
ground  that  the  narrower  the  cloth  the  flatter  and  better  will  the 
sail  stand  to  its  work.  .  . 

As  a  rule,    4   yards    in  ^--^PeaK 

length  may  be  considered  p^>^w  \ 

as  the  average  content  of     "%       V^^jlr      '     \ 
each  bolt.  Itisgenerally         %<i^^JK  •    ',   '.    A  r.rr  „... 

made  of  eight  different  &i  •'  •    •    ',    '\        UA*  *    bA.'L 

qualities   in    respect    of  *.?**^'-  \Vt-rtei(*tt)n,/,t 

thickness.      Nos.    1,    2,  V"     ;  *-*<»Tj#  '    *    \\C 

and  3  are  used  for  storm  y-     !     ,  **»*»  «*%*        .V  fn 

and  other  sails  that  have  [°:      .  '*  •    \-  .\'-3f      -\  ° 

to  do  heavy  work;  the  ta,  \    ',  \J\  'A^ 

remaining  numbers   for  \  .    '••?'  \ 

the  lighter  descriptions  of       {£  Fl'sXtyEJCtitfl?!^!*  A.  V", 

sails."    ("Encyclopaedia       oL''-.-..... :.. ......  A     <W 

Britannica.")     Aclothis       ^'°.   \-\K'\A-j\--A-h^'    Cringle 

one  of  the  strips  of  canvas  \   '    '  v/  '    J* '  "vM  •  1/ 

of  which  the  sail  is  made  ;  g \  *■  y  -  -*?■*■'•-?*  -.">  ■  :«-:..r&.. 

and  the  cloths  are  said  to         JJL— _".'  ,;,;„'.,: ,",,"-"--",  ,"„"  " 

be  pricked  together,  the        'f^'    FOOT         \*mt&*ii)*f*^ 

instrument  used  in  sew-    ^ 

ing  up  the  seams  being 

called   a  pricker.      The  Gaff  Sail. 

several    parts  of   a  sail 

are  as  follow : — From  the  fact  that  sail  cloth  is  made  in  bolts,  we 

have  the  name  bolt  ropes,  for  ropes  fastened  all  round  a  sail  to 

strengthen  its  edges.     At  the  head  and  foot  these  ropes  are  called 

the  head-rope  and  foot-rope  respectively ;  on  the  leeches,  or  sides, 

the  leech  ropes.     The  bunt  or  belly  is  the  main  surface  of  the  sail . 

(See  BUNT.)     The  head  is  the  upper  margin.     The  fwt  the  lower 

margin.     The  leeches  are  the  sides  in  general ;  but  the  weather  side 




(that  nearest  the  mast,  in  fore-and-aft  rig)  is  called  the  luff,  and 
the  lee  side  the  after  leech;  and  when,  as  in  yachts,  the  leech 
alone  is  spoken  of,  it  always  means  the  after  edge.  (See  Leech.) 
The  clews  are  the  lower  corners  :  on  a  gaff- sail  (as  the  mainsail  of 
a  yacht)  the  clew  is  the  aftermost  lower  corner  ;  the  tack  being  the 
foremost  lower  corner.  (See  Tack.)  The  peak  of  a  gaff-sail  or 
sprit- sail  is  the  aftermost 
upper  corner.  The  throat 
of  a  gaff-sail  is  the  for- 
ward upper  corner.  Reef 
bands  are  extra  bands  of 
canvas  running  horizon- 
tally across  a  sail.  In 
these  bands,  holes  are 
pierced  and  small  eyes 
inserted,  through  which 
the  reef  points  are  rove. 
(See  Reef.)  A  balance 
reef  is  a  reef  band  run-  j-ac"£5 
ning  diagonally  across  a 
gaff -sail,  so  that  the  sail 
may  be  reefed  in  such  a  5lJifTsH5TAy  *j^ 
man  ner  as  to  spread  only  s  9  0  A  R  t 
the  peak  and  upper  por-  TAC  K 
tion.  It  is  seldom  seen 
in  small  craft.  Beef 
points  are  short  ropes 
hanging  from  the  holes 
in  the  reef- bands.  They 
are  used  to  tie  up  the 
foot  of  the   sail,   which  Sails. 

constitutes  what  is  called 

"reefing  "  it.  (See  Reef.)  Reef  cringles  are  loops  or  eyes  in  the 
bolt  ropes  on  the  leech  of  a  sail.  Through  these  cringles  short  ropes 
called  reef  pendants  are  rove,  so  that  the  corner  of  sails  may  be 
drawn  down  and  tied  preparatory  to  reefing.  (See  Reef.)  Tabs 
are  strengthening  pieces  hemmed  into  the  edge  of  a  large  sail  where 
bolt  hooks  are  employed.  Roaching  is  the  name  given  to  the  curve 
in  thetfoot  or  sides  of  a  sail ;  the  side  curve  being  called  the  leech- 
roach.  '   This  term  is  mostly  applied  to  square  sails.     (See  Roach.  ) 

Other  terms  relating  to  sails  are  : — 

Sail  burton. —  A  purchase  for  sending  up  sails  to  a  masthead 
ready  for  bending. 

Sail  cover  (sometimes  called  a  sail  coat). — A  waterproof  covering 
for  a  sail  which  is  too  large  to  be  unbent  and  stowed  away  every 
time  a  boat  is  brought  home  from  an  outing.  It  is  important  to 
remember  that  a  cover  should  not  be  put  over  a  wet  sail ;  if  this  is 
repeatedly  done,  or  the  wet  sail  left  covered  for  any  length  of  time, 
it  will  quickly  rot. 



2.  A  hook  for  holding  the 

Sail  hanks.     (See  Clip-hooks.) 

Sail  hooks. — 1.  {See  Clip-hooks.) 
seams  of  a  sail  while  sewing  it. 

Sail  ho!  (at  sea). — The  exclamation  used  on  the  first  sight  of 
another  vessel. 

Sailing. — "  In  navigation,  the  art  of  directing  a  ship  on  a  given 
line  laid  down  in  a  chart.  It  is  called  plain  sailing  when  the  chart 
is  constructed  on  the  supposition  that  the  earth's  surface  (or  rather 
that  of  the  ocean)  is  an  extended  plain,  and  globular  sailing  when 
the  supposition  is  that  the  earth  is  a  sphere,  the  ship  being  then 
supposed  to  be  sailing  on  the  arc  of  a  great  circle. "  (Brande  and  Cox. ) 

Sailing  free  or  large. — Sailing  with  the  wind  abaft  the  beam. 
As  this  is  sailing  in  the  easiest  manner,  vessels  sailing  free  must 
make  way  for  those  close-hauled.     (See  Rule  of  the  Road.) 

Sailing  order,  or  order  of  sailing. — In  the  days  of  sailing  fleets, 
"  any  determined  order  preserved  by  a  squadron. " 

Sailing  within  4  points,  6 
points,  etc.  —  Sailing  within  a 
certain  angle  of  the  direction 
of  the  wind.  To  explain  the 
term  it  must  be  premised  that 
the  compass  card  is  divided 
into  32  points  (see  Compass)  ; 
and  further,  that  a  vessel  can- 
not sail  directly  against  the 
wind,  but  only  within  a  certain 
angle  of  it,  or,  in  nautical  lan- 
guage, within  a  certain  num- 
ber of  points  of  it.  That  is 
to  say,  if  the  wind  be  due 
North  (see  fig.),  and  the  vessel 
sail  within  6  points,  she  can 
only  progress  in  the  directions 
E.N.E.  and  W.N.W.,  those 
being  respectively  the  6th 
point  on  either  side  of  the 
North.  Six  points  is  as  close 
as  a  square  rigged  trading 
ship  will  sail  under  ordinary 
circumstances.  Fore  -  and  -  aft 
rigged  craft  will,  however, 
stand  up  to  5  points,  and 
some  to  4  points,  still  mak- 
ing good  headway,  while  modern  racing  boats  with  centreboards 
may,  under  certain  conditions,  be  brought  even  closer,  though  not 
to  hold  for  any  length  of  time. 

Sailor. — "  On  shipboard,  one  who  is  making  a  long  sea  voyage 
other  than  his  first,  and  who  is  qualified  to  go  aloft  and  tend  the 
sails.     A  sailor  is  not  necessarily  a  seaman."     (Brande  and  Cox). 

Sailing  within  6  Points. 

236  A   DICTIONARY   OF    SEA    TERMS. 

Saint  Lawrence  skiff. — "  In  the  Century  (New  Series,  Vol. 
VIII.)  is  an  interesting  article  upon  amateur  canoeing  and  sailing 
under  the  heading  of  'Camp  Grindstone.'  There  is  an  instructive 
paragraph  describing  the  St.  Lawrence  skiff  and  the  way  it  is 
managed.  The  skiff  as  depicted  is  a  row-boat  built  upon  scientific 
principles,  and  capable  of  seating  about  six  persons.  It  is  furnished 
with  a  centre-board,  and  carries  a  spritsail  on  a  mast  stepped  well 
forward.  The  peculiarity  of  the  craft  is  that  when  under  sail  it  is 
steered  by  neither  rudder,  oar,  nor  paddle,  but  is  governed  by  a 
person  distributing  his  weight  either  forward  or  aft  and  at  the  same 
time  regulating  the  sheets."  (Winn,  The  Boating  Man's  Vade 
Mecum. ) 

Saloon. — The  main  cabin  of  a  passenger  boat. 

Salt. — An  old  salt. — An  old  sailor. 

Salt  Horse. — (See  Horse.) 

Salting's. — Flat  land  generally  lying  outside  a  river  or  sea  wall 
and  sometimes  covered  at  spring  tides. 

Salnte. — In  the  Royal  Navy  salutes  are  made  by  the  firing  of 
cannon,  the  number  of  guns  marking  the  rank  of  the  person  or  object 
saluted.  Thus  the  Royal  salute  is  twenty-one  guns,  and  the 
number  decreases  to  seven,  the  salute  to  a  consul  or  a  naval  com- 
mander. But  in  a  more  humble  manner  salutes  are  also  performed 
by  the  dipping  of  colours.  Thus  a  boat  on  passing  or  being  passed 
by  a  vessel  displaying  the  Royal  Standard  (which  floats  only  above 
royalty)  will  dip  three  times ;  on  other  occasions,  as  to  a  naval 
officer's  flag,  to  that  of  a  yachting-club  officer,  or  to  a  friend,  once. 

Salvage. — "Originally  meant  the  thing  or  goods  saved  from  a 
wreck,  fire  or  enemies.  It  now  signifies  an  allowance  made  to  those 
by  whose  means  the  ship  or  goods  have  been  saved. 

"Salvage  loss. — A  term  in  marine  insurance  implying  that  the 
underwriters  are  liable  to  pay  the  amount  insured  on  the  property 
lost  in  the  ship,  but  taking  credit  for  what  is  saved."  (Smyth.) 
It  may  be  useful  for  the  beginner  to  know  that  if  any  person  find  a 
boat  he  has  a  lien  on  it.  If,  therefore,  a  boat  be  lost  or  get  adrift 
any  person  capturing  her  may  deliver  her  up  to  the  receiver  of 
wreckage,  who  will,  if  she  be  not  reclaimed,  sell  her  at  public 
auction.  If  an  amateur  have  the  misfortune  to  lose  a  boat  he  will 
do  well  to  make  some  private  arrangement  with  the  finder,  but  he 
may  conclude  from  the  beginning  that  he  will  have  to  pay  ' '  through 
the  nose. " 

Salvo. — "  A  discharge  from  several  pieces  simultaneously,  as  a 
salute. "     (Smyth. ) 

Salvor. — The  person  who  saves  a  ship  or  any  part  of  it  from 
peril  or  loss.     (See  also  Wreckers  under  Wreck.) 

Sand.  —  Sand  bags. — Canvas  bags  for  use  in  boats  to  fill  with 
ballast.     (See  Ballast.) 

Sand  hopper. — A  small  crustacean,  not  unlike  a  shrimp,  which 
abounds  on  some  beaches.     He  is  one  of  the  "  sessile -eyed  "  class. 



Sand  strakes. — Another  name  for  the  garboard  strokes  (which  see). 

Sand  warpt. — "  Left  by  the  tide  on  a  shoal.  Also  striking  on 
a  shoal  at  half -flood."     (Smyth.) 

Saraband. — "  A  forecastle  dance  borrowed  from  the  Moors  of 
Africa."  (Smyth). 

Sasse. — "  A  kind  of  weir  with  a  floodgate,  or  a  navigable  sluice." 
<Smyth.)  v 

Saucer  (of  a  capstan). — The  part  receiving  the  spindle  upon 
which  the  capstan  revolves. 

Save-all,  or  water  sail. — "  A  small  sail  sometimes  set  under  the 
foot  of  a  lower  studding-sail."  (Smyth.)  (See under  Studding-Sails.  ) 

Sawbones. — The  surgeon  on  a  ship  is  sometimes  so  called,  as 
also  occasionally  on  shore. 

Saxboard.  —  The  uppermost 
strake  in  an  open  boat.  To  it  the 
gunwale  is  secured  (upon  which  the 
rowlocks  are  fixed),  together  with 
the  inwale  and  outer  wale,  or  rub- 
bing piece.  It  is  sometimes  called 
the  gunwale  strake.  (See  under 

Scandalising. — This  is  some- 
what of  a  local  term.  Applied  to 
a  gaff  sail  (as  the  main  sail  of  a 
yacht),  it  implies  that  the  wind  is 
let  out  of  it  by  tricing  up  the  tack 
and  settling  the  peak.  It  is  often 
done  when  coming  up  to  moorings 
in  a  breeze. 

Scant  (or  scrimp)  (of  the  wind). 
— 1.  A  scant  wind  is  a  head  wind,  in  which  a  vessel  will  barely  lay 
her  course.  It  therefore  usually  implies  also  a  very  light  or  poor 
wind.  2.  In  general  conversation  the  word  "  scant  "  implies  "  of 
short  dimensions." 

Scantling  (from  "scant,"  a  measurement). — The  dimensions 
of  any  timber  when  reduced  to  its  standard  size.  In  shipbuilding 
the  scantling  implies  the  measurement,  or,  more  properly,  the 
proportion  of  the  various  constructive  parts.  A  vessel  is  said  to 
have  good  scantlings  when  her  timbers  and  all  other  parts  of 
her  are  of  such  dimensions  as  shall  render  her  powerful  and  sea- 
worthy. It  need  not  necessarily  mean  that  these  are  very  large, 
but  that  they  are  large  enough,  and  especially  so  proportioned,  one 
to  the  strength  of  the  other,  that  they  will  all  strain  equally  together. 

Scarf. — A  precipitous  steep. 

Scarfing. — The  joining  together  of  two  timbers,  by  sloping  off  the 
ends  of  each  and  fastening  them  together,  so  that  fchey  make  one 
beam  of  uniform  size  throughout. 




Scarfed. — An  old  term  for  "  decorated  or  dressed  with  flags." 

Scaw. — A  jutting  point  of  land. 

Sceud. — An  abbreviation  of  "  ascend,"  as  when  a  boat  lifts  her- 
self up  to  waves.  It  is,  therefore,  the  contraiy  to  the  pitch,  which  is 
the  plunging  of  her  head  down  ;  but  in  ordinary  language  a  vessel 
is  always  said  to  pitch  in  a  heavy  sea,  the  word  "  scend  "  being  used 
to  describe  only  the  upward  movement. 

Schooner. — There  are  two  rigs  of  schooners  common  to  our 
waters  :  the  first  mostly  applied  to  traders,  the  second  more  particu- 
larly to  yachts  :  both  have  two  masts,  fore  and  main. 

The  merchant  schooner,  commonly  called  the  top-sail  schooner, 
carries  a  square  top  sail,  sometimes  double  (which  see)  on  the  foremast, 
the  main  mast  being  fore-and-aft  rigged. 

Topsail  Schooner. 

Schooner  Yachts. 

The  schooner  yacht  is  occasionally  square  rigged  in  so  far  as 
that  she  may  carry  a  square  fore-topsail ;  but  more  often  she  is 
fore-and-aft  rigged  on  both  masts.  Schooner  yachts  were  at 
one  time  extremely  popular,  and  the  first  competitors  for  the 
America  Cup  were  of  this  class;  but  of  late  years  the  cutter  has 
entirely  superseded  them  in  racing. 

There  is  also  another  class  of  trading  schooner,  with  three  masts, 
eacli  being  fore-and-aft  rigged.  This  is  called  the  three-masted, 
schooner.     When  it  sets  square  sails  on  the  foremast  it  is  sometimes 



called  jackass  rigged.  But  the  jackass  rig  must  not  be  confounded 
with  the  barkentine,  which,  at  a  distance,  it  resembles;  the  barken- 
tine  having  a  brig -foremast,  while  the  three-masted  schooner  has  a 
schooner  foremast. 

Besides  these  there  is  also  a  very  beautiful  class  of  schooner, 
having  four  masts,  all  fore-and-aft  rigged.  These  vessels  hail 
mostly  from  America.     They  are  very  swift  and  close-winded. 

Schooner  mast  or  schooner  fore-mast. — This  is  spoken  of  in  con- 
tradistinction to  the  brig-mast.  The  schooner  foremast  is  composed 
of  two  parts  only,  the  lower  and  the  top  mast.  The  brig,  on  the 
other  hand,  has  lower,  top,  and  top-gallant  masts,  and  this  con- 
stitutes the  difference  between  the  schooner  and  the  brigantine, 
and  between  the  three-masted  schooner  and  the  barkentine.  A 
two-masted  vessel  with  a  brig- 
foremast  is  either  a  brig  or 
a  brigantine  ;  with  a  schooner 
foremast,  a  schooner.  In  like 
manner  a  three-masted  vessel 
(setting  square  sails  on  the 
foremast  only)  is  a  barkentine 
if  she  have  a  brig-foremast, 
and  a  three-masted  schooner 
if  she  have  a  schooner  fore- 
mast. (See  fig. ;  also  Brig 
and  Brigantine.) 

Schuyt,  or  eel  schuyt  (pro- 
nounced "  scoot)." — A  Dutch 
vessel,  of  one  or  two  masts, 
employed  in  the  eel  trade 
between  Holland  and  London. 
These  vessels  have  those  pe- 
culiar characteristics  which 
mark  the  Dutch  from  other 
craft,  and  may  for  general 
purposes  be  included  under  the  broad  term  "  Dutchmen."    (See  fig.) 

Scoot.— A  Dutch  vessel. — (See  Schuyt). 

To  scoot  (slang) — to  get  out  of  the  way. 

Score.— The  groove  on  the  shell  of  a  block  which  admits  of  the 
strop  being  tightened  so  that  it  will  not  move.     (See  Block.) 

Scotch. — To  be  scotched  up  is  to  be  supported,  as  a  boat  may  be 
when  propped  or  "scotched  up"  against  a  quay  by  timber  shores  or  legs. 

Scotchman.—11  A  piece  of  stiff  hide,  or  batten  of  wood,  placed 
over  the  backstays  fore-swifter  of  the  shrouds,  etc.,  so  as  to  secure 
the  standing  rigging  from  being  chafed.  Perhaps  so  called  from  the 
skotch  or  notch  where  the  seizing  is  passed."     (Smyth.) 

Scow. — 1.  "  A  large  flat-bottomed  boat,  used  either  as  a  lighter 
or  for  fenying.  2.  In  old  Naval  works  the  scroll  is  thus  written. 
(See  Scroll.) 


24:0  A    DICTIONARY   OF    SEA    TEKMS. 

Scow  banker. — A  manager  of  a  scow ;  also  a  contemptuous  U 
for  a  lubberly  fellow."     (Smyth.) 

Scrabble- — "  A  badly  written  log." 

Scratch. — 1.  The  line  from  which  a  race  is  supposed  to  st 
And  in  a  handicap  where  the  various  competitors  are  given  mor. 
less  start,  the  one  who  has  no  start  is  called  the  scratch  man 
scratch.      2.  In  another  sense,  a  scratch  race  is  one  in  which 
crews    are   brought  together  by  lot   or  without  previous  train, 
together.     It  is,  therefore,  often  understood 
to  mean  a  race  got  up  at  short  notice. 

Screw. — Screw  bolts  or  screw  eyes. — Bolts 
which  have  an  eye  at  the  head  and  screw  into 
the  deck  or  elsewhere.     In  sailing  boats  they  w    '    g  ~  "Ty 

are  very  frequent,  sometimes  taking  the  place  *       ~^~ 

of   shroud  plates,    sometimes   acting  as  fair  Screw  Eyes: 

leads,  etc. 

Screw  stretcher  and  screw  tightener. — (See  Set-SCKEW.) 

Screw  propeller. — The  propeller  of  a  screw  steam  vessel. 

Screw  well. — An  aperture  into  which  a  screw  propeller  may  be 
lifted  when  connecting  or  disconnecting  it. 

Scrimp. — The  same  as  scant  (which  see). 

Scroll,  or  scroll-head  (in  old  Naval  works  written  "  scrow  "). 
A  curved  timber  at  the  head  of  a  ship  by  way  of  ornament.      It  is 
mostly  seen  in  old  vessels, 
but  occasionally  on  schooner 

Scud. — To  run  before  the 
wind.  It  is  usually,  but  not 
necessarily,  understood  to 
mean  before  a  high  wind. 

To  scud  under  bare  poles. 
— To  run  before  the  wind    -: 
without    any  sail    set,    the 

masts,  yards,  and  rigging  of  t  •■*>• 

a  ship   being    sufficient    to  Scudding. 

keep  way  on  her,  even  in  a 
moderate  breeze.  Vessels  may  occasionally  be  seen  scudding  to  an 
anchorage  in  large  estuaries,  such  as  that  of  the  Thames.  That 
the  practice  is  ancient  is  certain,  for  St.  Luke  speaks  of  it.  (See 
under  Strike.) 

Scud. — Low,  misty  cloud,  flying  quickly. 

Scud  like  a  mudian. — An  expression  hurrying  someone  off — "  Be 
off  quickly  "  ;  the  mudian  rig  of  vessel  being  very  fast.  (See 

Scull. — With  rowing  men,  to  scull  is  to  row  with  two  oars  called 
sculls.     (See  under  Oar.) 

Single  sculling. — Sculling  by  only  one  person. 

A   DICTION  AKY   OF    SEA    TEKMS.  241 

'Double  sculling. — Two  persons  sculling  ;  a  plan  very  popular  on  the 

pper  Thames,  and  very  much  quicker  than  "  pair  oar  "  rowing. 

i  rare  occasions  eight  scullers  are  put  in  a  boat  and  are  found  to 

valk  away  "  from  eight-oared  boats ;  but  the  plan  is  not  common. 

jilling,  at  sea,  is  often  performed  with  only  one  oar  used  at  the 

srn  of  the  boat,  the  sculler  mostly  standing  to  do  his  work. 

Scuppers.  —  Openings  in  the  bulwarks  of  a  ship  to  carry  off 

(ok  water.     They  are  usually  fitted  with  swinging  flaps  or  doors, 

*me  are  mere  holes  cut  in  the  waterways,  which  holes  are  often 

ited  with  small  pipes  called  scupper  hose  or  scupper  shoots — or  if 

,ith  leather  valves  the  valves  are  called  scupper  leathers. 

'  Scuttle. — The  meaning  of  the  word  scuttle  is  "  a  hole  cut." 
Thus  an  opening  in  a  vessel's  sides  or  deck,  whether  to  admit  light 
or  to  allow  of  persons  descending  through  it,  is  a  scuttle ;  as  the 
"  forescuttle,"  which  is  the  name  given  to  the  forecastle  hatchway 
when  that  consists  of  a  mere  opening  in  the  deck  without  hood  or 

To  scuttle  a  ship  is  to  cut  a  hole  in  her,  below  the  water  line, 
so  as  to  sink  her ;  and  in  the  same  sense  to  scuttle  a  deck,  or 
any  other  part,  is  to  cut  an  aperture  in  it. 

To  scuttle  down  is  to  close  and,  if  necessaiy,  batten  down  the 

A  scuttle  butt  is  a  large  butt  (carried  by  vessels  on  deck  and 
containing  the  water  required  for  the  constant  use  of  the  ship)  into 
the  top  of  which  a  hole,  or  "  scuttle,"  is  cut  large  enough  to  admit 
of  a  pail  being  lowered  through  it. 

Sea. — "  The  sea  was  called  saivs  from  a  root  si  or  siv,  the  Greek 
seid,  to  shake  ;  it  meant  the  tossed-about  water  in  contradistinction 
to  stagnant  or  running  water."     (Max  Miiller.) 

The  high  seas  are  that  part  of  the  ocean  beyond  the  (three  mile) 
limit  over  which  the  Government  of  a  country  claims  jurisdiction. 

The  word  sea  is  often  used  to  describe  the  condition  of  the  surface 
of  the  water,  as  a  heavy  sea  when  the  waves  are  large,  a  long  sea 
when  there  is  a  considerable  distance  between  them,  a  short  or  choppy 
sea  when  they  follow  closely  one  upon  the  other,  a  cross  sea  when, 
in  consequence  of  a  change  of  wind  or  a  run  of  tide,  the  waves  meet 
each  other  from  different  directions.  A  single  wave  is  often  called 
a  sea,  and  in  the  plural,  the  seas  may  mean  the  waves. 

Sea  board. — The  sea  shore. 

Sea  boat. — A  good  sea  boat  generally  means  a  boat  which  conducts 
herself  well  at  sea  :  a  bad  sea  boat  one  which  sails  all  awash. 

Sea  borne. — Carried  by  sea.  Brought  from  over  the  sea :  as  sea- 
borne coal,  which  comes  round  the  coast  by  ship. 

Sea  craft  or  scarf  (in  shipbuilding),  the  scarfed  strakes,  called  the 
clamps.     ((See  next  page.) 

Sea  devil. — 1.  The  fish  known  as  the  angler,  also  called  the 
fishing  frog  and  wide  gab  {Lophius  piscatorius).  2.  One  of  the 
tribe  Acanthopterygii. 


242  A    DIOTIONAKY   OF    SEA    TEKMS. 

Sea  dog. — The  seal. 

Sea  eagle. — The  fish  known  as  the  sting-ray,  common  trygon,  or 
fire- flair e  (Baia pastinaca). 

Sea  egg. — The  sea-urchin  ;  one  of  the  Echinodermata. 

Seafardinger. — A  name  for  a  seaman. 

Sea  fret. — Morning  mist. 

Sea  gate,  ox  gait. — "A  rolling  swell:  when  two  ships  are  thrown 
aboard  one  another  by  its  means,  they  are  said  to  he  in  a  sea-gate." 

Sea  girdles. — The  common  name  for  the  seaweed  Laminaria 

Sea-going. — A  sea-going  vessel  is  one  designed  for  sea  work  in  con- 
tradistinction to  one  built  for  river  or  canal  navigation.  Hence  we 
speak  of  sea-going  barges,  because  there  are  various  sorts  of  barges, 
not  all  of  them  sea-going. 

Sea  gull. — A  term  applied  to  any  of  the  large  family  of  Gulls, 
which  are  very  common  at  sea  and  near  the  shore. 

Sea  hog. — The  porpoise. 

Sea  holly. — "  A  harsh  spiny-leaved  seaside  plant." 

Sea  horse. — The  small  fish  hippocampus,  the  head  of  which  re- 
sembles that  of  a  horse  :  also  the  walrus. 

Sea  jelly. — A  name  for  the  medusae. 

Sea  lawyer. — "  An  idle  litigious  long-shorer,  more  given  to 
question  orders  than  to  obey  them. "  (Smyth. )  This  gentleman  is 
not  a  stranger  a  long  way  from  shore. 

Sea  lion. — A  large  seal  with  shaggy  mane. 

Sea  mew. — Another  name  for  the  sea  gull. 

Sea  otter.  — An  animal  the  fur  of  which  is  much  sought  after. 

Sea  pie. — A  dish  at  sea,  consisting  of  fish,  meat,  and  vegetables, 
with  a  layer  of  crust  between  each,  from  winch  it  becomes  known  as 
a  two  or  three  decker. 

Sea  reach. — The  reach  in  a  river  which  stretches  out  seaward. 
But  the  term  is  also  used  as  a  proper  name  for  reaches  elsewhere. 

Sea  scarf  (in  shipbuilding). — A  clamp  or  block  of  wood  upon 
which  some  member  of  a  vessel's  frame  is  often  fastened.  (See 
diagrams  under  FEAME.) 

Sea  serpent. — A  creature,  "whether  in  earth,  or  fire,  sea  or  air," 
which  Science  has  not  yet  fully  acknowledged. 

Sea  sickness. — A  malady  which,  though  originating  at  sea,  receives 
but  scant  sympathy  thereon. 

Sea  snake.  —  A  creature  belonging  to  the  family  Hyorus  or 
Hydrophis,  and  distinguished  from  the  land  snake  by  the  compression 
of  the  tail  into  a  swimming  organ.  The  genus  exists  and  is  even 
said  to  abound  in  some  parts  of  the  tropics.     , 

Sea  thongs. — One  of  the  British  seaweeds,  Eclonia  buccinalis. 

Sea  urchin. — The  sea  egg.     (See  above. ) 

Sea  wall. — An  embankment  protecting  reclaimed  land  from  the 
sea  or  a  river.  It  is  kept  in  repair  by  those  holding  land  through 
winch  it  runs. 

A    DICTION  AKY   OF    SEA    TEEMS.  243 

Sea  way. — A  navigable  portion  of  the  sea.  It  is  also  called  a  fair- 
way, which  term  may  answer  also  for  the  navigable  channel  of  a  river. 

Seaweed. — Plants  growing  in  sea  water.  Seaweed  forms  excellent 
manure,  and  may  also  be  used  in  the  building  of  sea  walls.  When 
thus  used  it  is  called: — 

Sea-wrack. — The  seaweed  which  is  thrown  up  by  the  tide. 

Sea-worthy. — Fit  to  go  to  sea. 

Seam. — 1.  Of  a  sail,  the  stitching  up  of  two  cloths,  which, 
among  sail-makers,  is  called  pricking.  2.  In  shipbuilding,  the 
space  between  two  planks  of  a  vessel.  Seams  are  caulked  with 
oakum,  and  payed  with  pitch.  The  seams  in  the  deck  of  a  yacht 
are  often  very  close  together,  the  narrowness  of  the  plank  con- 
stituting not  only  a  safeguard  against  warping  but  also  a  great 
beauty.  For  this  latter  reason  it  is  often  the  practice,  where,  for 
economy,  wide  planks  have  been  used,  to  make  a  sham  seam  down 
the  middle  of  each.  Though  no  fault  can  be  found  with  such  a  method 
of  decoration,  it  is  well  for  the  amateur,  if  he  be  buying  a  boat,  to 
see  that  he  is  not  deceived  into  the  conclusion  that  narrow  planks 
have  been  employed,  when,  in  fact,  they  may  have  been  but  imitated. 

Seaman. — A  man  who  has  been  brought  up  to  or  served  a 
certain  number  of  years  at  sea.  A  complete  seaman  is  called  able- 
bodied  and  rated  A.B.  ;  one  having  served  a  less  number  of  years,  an 
ordinary  seaman;  one  only  beginning  his  career,  a  landsman, 
which  is   equivalent   to  an  ordinaiy  seaman  of    the  second  class. 

Seaman's  disgrace. — An  old  name  for  a  foul  anchor. 

Seaman 's  pleasure. — Time  spent  by  a  seaman  on  shore. 

Seamanship. — The  practical  part  of  working  a  ship;  rigging  her,  etc. 

Season. — To  keep  baulks  of  timber,  or  a  vessel,  some  time  in  the 
water  before  making  use  of  either. 

Seat-pad. — A  small  piece  of  cloth,  wool,  or  sheepskin,  with  a 
tape  at  each  corner,  for  tying  on  to  the  thwart  of  a  row-boat  and 
thus  making  the  seat  less  hard. 

Second-hand. — On  shipboard,  but  more  particularly  on  small 
craft,  such  as  fishing  boats,  the  second  in  command  (excluding  the 
captain)  is  usually  called  the  second-hand  ;  the  word  u  hand  "  mean- 
ing "man." 

Section. — A  drawing  representing  (in  marine  architecture)  the 
internal  parts  of  a  vessel  as  if  she  had  been  cut  straight  down  along 
any  particular  line,  either  longways  or  athwartships.  In  the 
designing  of  a  large  ship  a  great  number  of  sectional  drawings  are 
made.  In  small  craft  two,  with  a  plan,  may  be  sufficient ;  one  show- 
ing her  cut  along  the  line  of  the  keel — i.  e. ,  a  side  view  of  her  interior, 
and  called  the  sheer  plan  ;  the  other  showing  her  cut  in  half  across 
the  widest  part,  and  called  the  body  plan.  And  this  latter  one  is 
generally  so  arranged  that  one-half  shows  the  interior  looking  for 
ward,  and  the  other  half  the  view  looking  aft.  This  will  be  better 
understood  by  a  reference  to  the  paragraph  under  lines. 

Seel. — To  suddenly  lurch  over,  but  quickly  return  to  the  upright. 

B   2 




Seize. — To  secure ;  as  to  fasten  two  ropes,  or  different  parts  of 
the  same  rope,  together,  -with  a  binding  of  small  rope,  or  with  yarn. 
The  material  used  for  binding  is  called  the  seizing. 

Selvage  or  selvedge. — The  natural  edge  of  any  woven 
material,  or  of   sail  cloth. 

Selvagee. — A  ring  of  rope  for  fastening  round  a  spar,  so  as  to 
lift  or  move  it. 

Semaphore. — An  instrument,  as  its  name  implies,  "  carrying 
signs  "  or  signals  ;  and  sometimes  used  at  sea  with  the  International 
Code.     In  its  most  familiar  form  it  is  the  railway  signal 
with  its  post  and  arms.     (See  under  SIGNAL.) 

Serve.— To  bind  up  or  cover  anything.  To  serve  rope,  to 
bind  it  round  with  canvas  and  line  ;  these  materials  being 
called  the  service.     (See  Worm,  Parcel,  and  Serve.) 

Set. — Set-bolts. — Bolts  used  in  driving  others  deeply 
into  some  timber. 

Set-screw,  screw-stretcher,  wire-stretcher,  or  screw- 
tightener. — An  instrument  consisting  of  a  long  shanked 
hook  screwing  into  a  frame,  which  may  be  turned  round 
upon  it  so  as  to  increase  or  reduce  the  length  of  shank 
exposed.  In  small  boats  it  sometimes  takes  the  place  of 
the  shroud  tackle  (dead  eyes,  lanyards,  etc.),  and  is  found 
very  convenient,  as  by  a  few  turns  of  the  frame  the  shroud 
may  be  rendered  taut  or  slack.  It  may  also  be  used  with 
advantage  on  a  bob-stay  purchase,  or  with 
bow-sprit  whiskers. 

Set  flying. — A  sail  is  said  to  be  set  flying 
when  it  has  no  stay,  gaff,  or  yard  to  guide 
it  up.  And  when  it  does  go  up  on  a  stay 
or  spar  it  is  said  to  be  set  standing.  Thus, 
in  a  cutter  yacht,  the  foresail  is  attached 
by  hanks  to  the  fore  stay,  which  guides  the 
sail  up  so  that  it  cannot  fly  out  in  the 
wind.  But  the  jib  has  no  such  stay  to 
guide  it ;  it  is  merely  attached  by  its  head 
to  the  halyard  and  by  its  tack  to  the 
traveller,  and,  being  lifted,  it  flies  about 
in  the  wind  until  it  is  hauled  taut,  and 
may,  therefore,  be  justly  said  to  be  "  set  flying."     (See  fig.) 

Set  of  the  tide,  or  of  a  current. — The  direction  in  which  the  tide  or 
current  flows,  i.e.,  runs  up. 

Set  sail. — To  haul  up  the  sails  preparatory  to  starting,  synonymous 
with  "make  sail." 

Set  up. — Generally  speaking,  to  tighten  up,  in  contradistinction 
to  settle,  which  is  to  lower.  Thus,  to  "set  up  the  peak"  is  to 
give  the  final  pull,  or  swig,  on  it,  so  as  to  bring  the  sail  quite  flat ; 
to  "  set  up  the  shrouds. "  to  take  in  their  slackness  so  that  they 
may  have  the  same  strain  as  before. 

Set  Flying. 
Set  Standing. 

A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  245 

Sett. — A  particular  spot  in  a  river  where  nets  are  set.  The 
word  is  frequently  met  with  in  Norfolk,  where  it  is  the  custom  for 
eel  fishermen  to  locate  themselves  permanently  in  one  spot.  Here 
the  eelman  brings  an  old  boat,  which  being  converted  into  a  house, 
affords  him  shelter  from  the  weather,  and  round  it  his  gear  may 
often  be  seen  hanging  ready  for  baiting,  forming  a  characteristic 
and  picturesque  incident  in  a  very  romantic  landscape. 

Settle. — To  lower,  or  to  become  lower.  The  word  may  be  used 
in  both  senses  ;  as  ' '  settle  the  peak, "  i.  e. ,  "  lower  the  peak  "  ;  or 
"  the  ship  is  settling, "  meaning  she  is  lowering  or  becoming  lower 
in  the  water,  perhaps  preparatory  to  sinking,  as  "she  settled  and 
sank. " 

Severe. — "  Effectual ;  as,  a  severe  turn  on  a  be  laying-pin." 

Sewed. — A  vessel  aground  is  said  to  be  sewed  by  as  much  depth 
as  is  still  required  to  float  her.  Thus  if  she  draws  12ft.  and  the  tide 
leaves  her  in  only  6ft.  of  water,  she  is  sewed  6ft. 

Sextant. — The  instrument  used  at  sea  for  measuring  the  altitudes 
of  the  celestial  bodies,  and  thereby  determining  the  position  of  a 
ship.  Its  form  and  use  are  briefly  but  very  lucidly  explained  by 
Captain  W.  R.  Martin,  in  a  contribution  to  Lloyd's  "  Seaman's 
Almanac,"  1897. 

Shackle. — A  small  U-shaped  iron  with 
the  open  end  connected  by  a  screw-pin. 
Shackles  have  various  uses,  e.g.,  to  connect 
lengths  of  chain,  as  in  a  cable ;  in  which 
case  the  head  of  the  screw-pin  is  counter- 
sunk so  as  to  allow  of  the  chain  running 
free.     They  are  also  a  good  deal  employed 

on  the  tacks  or  clews  of  sails,  their  princi-  Anchor 

pal  advantage  over  hooks  being  that  they  shu-klks. 

cannot  shake  off  ;  in  a  squall,  however,  or 

in  any  emergency,  they  are  somewhat  awkward  to  manipulate. 
When  fitted  to  cables,  shackles  should  be  placed  with  the  apex 
forward,  so  that  the  chain  may  pay  out  freely.  Anchor  shackle- pins 
are  not  screwed  in,  but  tapered  and  slipped  in,  and  fastened  with 
wood  or  lead  plugs. 

Shaekle-croiv. — A  bar  of  iron  (like  a  crowbar),  but  fitted  with  a 
shackle  for  drawing  out  bolts,  etc. 

Shadow  building. — A  term  used  to  denote  a  method  of  build- 
ing boats  without  regard  to  specially  drawn  plans  (called  "  lines  ") 
or  to  intermediate  calculations. 

Snaffle. — A  split  collar  :  one  of  the  fittings  on  a  mast  to  receive 
its  boom.     {See  Gooseneck  and  Shaffle.) 

Shake. — To  cast  off  or  loosen,  as  : — To  shake  out  a  reef. — To  let 
it  out. 

To  shake  a  cask. — To  take  it  to  pieces  and  pack  up  the  parts, 
which  are  then  termed  shakes.  Hence  the  term,  '  No  great  shakes," 
expressing  "of  little  value." 

24:6  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

Shake  in  the  ivind. — A  sail  shakes  or  shivers  when  a  vessel  is 
brought  head  to  wind  ;  and  this  is  sometimes  called  a  tell-tale  shake. 

Shakes  (in  shipbuilding). — Cracks  or  rents  in  a  timber. 

"Shaking  a  cloth  in  the  ivind." — In  galley  parlance,  means 
"  slightly  intoxicated." 

Shank  (of  an  anchor). — The  main  shaft  or  leg.   (See  Anchor.) 

Shank  painter. — A  rope  wliich  holds  the  shank  of  an  anchor 
while  on  deck. 

Shank  of  a  hook. — That  part  al>ove  the  bent  portion. 

Sheave. — The  wheel  in  a  block  ;  and  sometimes  in  a  spar,  such 
as  the  bowsprit  of  a  small  yacht.     (See  note  under  Block). 

Sheave  hole. — The  hole  in  which  the  sheave  runs. 

Sheepshank. — A  method  of  shortening  a  rope  without  cutting 
it  or  loosening  its  ends.     (See  under  KNOTS.) 

Sheer. — The  word  may  be  synonymous  with  "mere";  as  "  a 
sheer  hulk  "  in  the  sense  of  a  "  hulk  merely."     (See  Hulk.) 

In  shipbuilding,  the  sheer  is  the  straight  or  curved  Line  which  the 
deck  line  of  a  vessel  makes  when  viewed  from  the  side.  When 
straight,  she  is  said  to  have  a  straight  sheer. 

The  sheer-plan  is  the  drawing  in  which  the  sheer  is  delineated.  It 
is  a  longitudinal  section  through  the  keel,  and  shows  the  position  of 
every  point  with  regard  to  its  position  fore  and  aft,  as  well  as  its 
height  above  the  keel.     (See  Lines.  ) 

Sheer  battens  are  long  rods  used  in  shipbuilding  to  mark  off  the 
position  of  the  planks  called  bends  or  wales  before  they  are  bolted  on. 

The  sheer  stroke  is  the  strake  immediately  below  the  sheer  line; 
In  ships  it  is  often  of  thicker  planking  than  the  other  strakes. 
(See  diagrams  under  Frame.  ) 

To  sheer  or  sheer  off  (in  sailing),  to  bear  away  from. 

Sheers  are  long  beams  or  legs  forming  a  sort  of  crane,  used  for 
rifting  heavy  weights  into  vessels  or  on  to  quays,  etc.  The  apparatus 
is  sometimes  set  up  on  old  hulls,  for  dockyard  use,  pier  building, 
etc. ;  these  hulls  being  then  called  sheer  hulls  or  hulks.  (See 

Sheet. — The  rope  attached  to  a  sail  so  that  it  may  be  worked, 
that  is,  let  out  or  hauled  in  as  occasion  may  require.  Sheets 
take  their  names  from  the  sails  they  work,  as  the  main  sheet, 
working  the  mainsail ;  the  jib  sheets,  working  the  jib,  etc. ;  and 
they  will,  accordingly,  be  found  described  under  their  specific 
headings.  To  rally  out  a  sheet  is  to  let  it  run  out.  To  overhaul  it 
is  the  same.  When  a  vessel  is  close-hauled  with  sheets  brought  in  and 
belayed,  they  are  said  to  be  sheeted  home.  In  a  ship,  the  ropes  attached 
to  both  clews  of  those  square  sails  which  are  above  the  courses  are 
called  sheets  ;  in  the  courses  (lower  square  sails)  only  the  aftermost 
of  these  ropes  is  the  sheet,  the  weathermost  being  called  the  tack^ 
In  poetry,  we  often  find  the  word  "  sheet  "  used  to  designate  a  sail, 
as  in  the  Line,  "  the  fresh  breeze  meets  her  dingy  sheets."  This,  of 
course,  is  often  Licence,  taken  for  the  sake  of  rhyme ;  and  if  the 


poet  is  to  be  excused  for  straining  after  rhyme,  it  must  lie  passed 
over  as  such. 

Three  sheets  in  the  wind. — A  grade  in  drunkenness,  verging  on 
the  incapable. 

Sheet  anchor. — The  most  powerful  anchor  carried  by  a  ship,  and 
popularly  supposed  to  be  used  only  as  a  last  resource,  in  which  sense 
the  term  is  frequently  used  in  general  conversation. 

Sheet  clip  (or  sheet  slip). — An  instrument,  the  principal  agent  in 
which  is  a  sort  of  drop  pawl,  by  which  sheets  may  be  held,  while 
necessary,  and  instantly 
released.  They  are  of 
great  use  in  single-handed 
sailing,  and  in  small  boats 
may  often  be  used  to  hold 
the  main  sheet.  (Illus- 
trated under  Clip.)  &^S%jTu  "m**<*t4 

Head-sheets,  stern-  ™****tfo 

sheets  (in  open  boats). —  Head  and  Stern-sheets. 

The  floor- boards  covering 
the  space  either  at  the  head  or  the  stem  of  the  boat.     {See  fig.) 

Shelf  (in  shipbuilding). — A  longitudinal  timber  within  the  ribs 
of  a  vessel.     (See  diagram  under  FRAME. ) 

Shell. — 1.  A  popular  term  for  the  remnant  of  a  vessel  after  she 
has  been  completely  stripped. 

2.  Of  a  block. — The  outer  casing  of  a  block  is  its  shell. 

3.  Among  rowing  men,  and  especially  among  journalistic  littera- 
teurs, a  wager  boat,  or  best  racing  boat,  is  sometimes  called  a  shell. 

Shelve. — To  slope  down  rapidly,  as  a  shelving  beach,  winch  is  a 
very  steep  beach. 

Shifting. — Shifting  backstays.  —  Those  of  the  backstays  of  a 
vessel  which  may  be  shifted  over  from  side  to  side  when  she  goes 
about  on  another  tack,  and  from  which,  therefore,  may  be  derived 
the  origin  of  the  terms  in  stays,  missing  stays,  slack  in  stays,  etc. 
(See  under  Backstays  and  Tack.) 

Shifting  sands. — Such  banks  of  sand  as  are  soft  and  liable  to  alter 
their  form.     Also  quick-sands. 

Ship. — A  term  applied  indiscriminately  to  any  large  vessel,  but 
among  seamen  restricted  to  one  which  is  full  rigged.  (See  Full- 
rigqed  Ship.) 

To  ship. — To  put  a  thing  into  its  proper  position  for  working, 
as  "  to  ship  oars, "  to  put  them  into  the  rowlocks  preparatory 
to  rowing.  "To  ship  the  rudder,"  to  hang  it  ready  for  use, 
etc.  And  if  to  ship  is  to  put  a  thing  in  working  position, 
then  to  unship  is  to  take  it  off.  Thus  to  unship  oars  "  is  to  take 
them  out  of  the  rowlocks,  and  to  "  unship  the  rudder  "  to  unhinge 
it.  From  this  it  will  be  seen  that  to  ship  is  not  necessarily  to  bring 
within  the  ship,  but  in  most  cases  it  is  so,  as  to  ship  a  cargo;  to 
ship  hands  (men) ;  to  ship  stores,  etc.,  which  is  to  take  them  on  board. 



To  ship  a  sea. — To  be  overtaken  "by  a  wave,  or  to  plunge  into  it  so 
that  it  comes  into  or  over  the  ship. 

Shoal. — I.  Shallow.     2.  A  shoal  is  a  shallow  place. 

Shore.— The  margin  of  the  sea,  or  of  a  river.  ((See  Foreshore.) 
Those  living  close  to  the  shore  are  called  "  shoresmen,"  to  dis- 
tinguish them  from  those  living  inland.  So  also  a  shore  raker  is  a 
man  who  hangs  about  by  the  waterside.      (See  Loafer.) 

Shores. — Props  placed  under  a  vessel  while  building  or  in  a  dry 
dock,  or  it  may  be  to  keep  a  vessel  upright  when  she  is  aground. 
She  is  then  said  to  be  shored  up. 

Shot. — An  additional  cable's  length.     (See  CABLE.) 

Shot  in  the  locker. — An  old  expression  signifying  money  in  one's 
pocket.  The  old  motto  is  "Never  say  die  whilst  there's  a  shot  in 
the  locker. ' ' 

Show  a  leaf. — An  exclamation  meaning  "  Show  that  you  are  in 
earnest, "  or  otnerwise. "  Look  sharp  ! "  The  term  is  derived  from  the 
old  saying  that  if  a  man  showed  a  leg  out  of  his  bunk  it  might 
reasonably  be  considered  that  he  was  about  to  rise. 

Shrouds. — Strong  ropes  supporting  a  mast  laterally ;  they  are 
now  almost  always  of  wire  rope.  They  take  their  names  from  the 
spars  they  support,  as  the  main  or  mizzen  shrouds,  the  topmast 
shrouds,  the  bowsprit  shrouds,  etc.  In  large  vessels  they  are  con- 
nected by  small  ropes  to  form  ladders ;  these  ropes  being  called 
ratlines  or  rattlings  (which  see).  The  shrouds  of  fore-and-aft 
rigged  masts  are  fitted  in  the  following  manner  : — One  piece  of  wire 
rope  is  doubled  so  as  to  form  two  legs.  A  little  below  the  bend  these 
parts  are  seized  together,  forming  what  is  called  a  collar,  i.e.,  a  loop  ; 
and  this  collar  being  passed  over  the  head  of  the  mast,  both  legs 
come  down  on  the  same  side  of  the  vessel.  Or  if  there  be  only  one 
shroud,  an  eye  splice  is  made  at  the  upper  end,  which  is  passed  over 
the  mast  in  the  same  way.  But  the  shrouds  of 
large  square  rigged  masts  are  not  fitted  in  this 
manner.  These  communicate  singly  with  a  strong 
spider  hoop  beneath  the  mast-head,  and  thence  ex- 
tend downwards  to  the  sides  of  the  vessel.  And  for 
small  boats,  or  in  case  of  having  to  rig  up  shrouds 
temporarily,  a  very  simple  method  is  employed  by 
the  fishermen.  It  consists  in  taking  two  ropes  of 
sufficient  length  to  span  the  boat  from  the  mast- 
head ;  making  a  simple  overhand  knot  in  the 
middle  of  one ;  passing  the  other  through  it, 
thereby  making  a  sort  of  slip  knot  of  the  two  ; 
and  passing  the  loop  thus  made  over  the  mast 
head  (or  if  that  cannot  be  done  the  loop  is  made 
round  the  mast  head)  in  the  manner  illustrated 
under  Knot.  At  the  end  of  each  leg  of  the 
shrouds  a  dead-eye  is  turned  in  ;  and  a  lanyard 
(a  small  rope)  passing  through  this  dead-eye  and         shrouds. 

A   DICTIONARY   OF    SEA    TERMS.  249 

another  fellow  to  it  on  the  channel  plate  allows  the  shrouds  to  be 
tightened  (or  set  up,  as  it  is  technically  termed)  on  each  side.  The 
dead-eyes  are  blind  blocks — i.e.,  they  have  no  sheaves,  and  for  this 
reason  the  lanyards  are  less  liable  to  slip  through  them.  In  rigging 
them  it  is  customary  to  pass  the  lanyard  through  one  of  the  eyes 
and,  by  making  a  stopper  knot  at  the  end  of  the  rope,  thus  prevent 
it  from  slipping  through.  The  other  end  of  the  lanyard  may  then 
be  reeved  through  the  holes  in  both  dead-eyes  and  the  shroud  "  set 
up."  ((See  Dead-eyes.  )  The  length  of  shroud  from  the  dead-eyes 
on  one  side,  over  the  mast  and  to  the  dead-eyes  on  the  other  side,  is 
called  the  span  of  the  rigging. 

Such  are  the  shrouds  of  a  lower  mast ;  others  are  fitted  somewhat 
differently,  as  will  be  seen  : — Topmast  shrouds. — 1.  On  a  fore-and- 
aft  rigged  mast,  or  one  carrying  only  one  topmast,  such  as  the  main 
mast  of  a  cutter  or  the  mizzen  of  a  schooner,  etc.,  the  shroud  is 
passed  over  the  head  of  the  topmast  and  extended  by  means  of  a 
cross-tree,  shortly  below  which  it  terminates ;  being  then  taken  up 
by  another  length,  or  by  a  tackle  with  ropes  called  the  legs.  The 
reason  for  this  is  that  when  the  topmast  is  lowered  its  shrouds  may 
only  just  reach  to  the  deck.  For  were  they  so  long  as  to  do  this 
when  the  mast  was  up,  they  would  be  greatly  in  the  way  when  it 
came  down  ;  whereas,  the  shrouds  being  short  and  the  legs  movable, 
these  latter  can  be  disconnected  and  stowed  away  when  the  mast 
is  lowered.  2.  On  masts  which  cany  more  than  one  topmast,  as 
the  fore  and  main  masts  of  a  bark  or  a  brig — in  other  words,  on  a 
brig  mast — the  method  above  described  is  impossible,  for  even  if 
practicable,  the  cross-trees  and  side  gear  would  prevent  the  yards 
of  the  square  sails  from  traversing  about  the  mast.  Another 
system  is,  therefore,  necessary,  and  it  is  carried  out  as  follows : — 
Each  mast  head  is  furnished  with  a  large  plate  of  iron  called  the 
futtock-plate,  to  which,  by  smaller  plates,  dead-eyes  are  attached  ; 
and  the  shrouds  which  come  down  from  the  top-mast  head  also  have 
dead-eyes,  so  that  they  may  be  set  up  in  the  same  way  as  those  of 
£he  lower  mast. 

Bowsprit  shrouds  are  the  ropes  (usually  of  wire)  which  give 
lateral  support  to  the  bowsprit  just  as  mast  shrouds  do  to  a 
mast.  They  are  attached  to  a  ring  called  the  cranse-iron  at  the 
end  of  the  bowsprit,  and  being  taken  up  by  tackles  (like  the  legs 
of  topmast  shrouds)  may  be  set  up  from  the  bow  of  the  vessel.  In  small 
craft  they  are  often  attached  to  the  bow  by  a  set-screw  or  screw- 
tightener  (which  see)  which,  by  being  turned  one  way  or  the  other, 
either  tightens  or  slackens  them. 

Shroud  plates,  or  shroud  irons. — Irons  fitted  to  the  sides  of  small 
boats  to  take  the  shroud  tackles.  They  take  the  place  of  the 
channel  plates  of  larger  craft.     (See  Channels.) 

Side. — Side  fishes. — In  a  made  mast,  the  convex  pieces  which 
form  the  rounded  sides  of  the  mast ;  to  fish  being  to  secure  one 
piece  of  wood  over  another,  usually  for  strengthening  it. 



Side  kelsons,  or  sister  kelsons  (in  ship-building). — Side  timbers 
forming  kelsons  beside  the  actual  kelson,  for  extra  strength.  {See 
under  Frame.) 

Signals. — "  A  system  of  symbols  addressed  to  the  eye — as  flags, 
boards,  lights,  etc.,  for  establishing  communications  at  distances  too 
great  for  the  voice."  It  is  impossible  in  this  place  to  enter  into  the 
history  and  development  of  signals,  or  to  mention  one  half  the 
number  of  vaiying  codes  which  have  been  brought  forward!  A  few 
of  those,  however,  most  useful  to  the  amateur  sailor  may  be  ex- 
plained. The  International  Steering  and  Sailing  Rules  should  be 
studied  ;  they  may  be  obtained  at  any  marine  publisher's,  or  found  in 
Lloyd's  "  Seaman's  Almanac  "  ;  most  books  on  amateur'  sailing  also 
give  them.  (See  Mr. Christopher  Davies'  "Boat  Sailing  for  Amateurs, " 
and  other  works.)  These  contain  the  regulations  as  to  fog  and 
distress   signals,   bights,   and 

all  other  points  necessary  for 
sea  cruising.  With  a  know- 
ledge of  them  and  of  the 
International  Code  of  Flag 
Signals,  to  which  should  be 
added  an  acquaintance  with 
the  storm  signals  of  the 
Meteorological  Office,  the 
yachtsman  may  feel  toler- 
ably confident  of  himself. 

International  Code.  —  The 
flag  signals  are  18  in  number, 
and  a  pennant  or  code  signal, 
and  it  is  by  a  combination  of 
any  number  up  to  four  that 
symbols  representing  words 
or  sentences  are  made.  The 
list  of  the  code  with  instruc- 
tions as  to  signalling,  to- 
gether with  various  official 
notices  and  regulations  issued 
by  the  Admiralty  and  Board 
of  Trade,  edited  by  the 
Registrar -General  of  Sea- 
men, and  published  by  the 
Committee  of  Lloyd's,  price 
12s.,  should  be  obtained  by 
those  who  wish  to  use  them. 

Hoisted  at  the 

Want  a  Pilot. 

I  Have  Sprung 
a  Leak. 


The  flags  themselves,  in  colour,  are  given  in  "Lloyd's  Almanac" 
and  other  works.  Inconsequence  of  the  fact  that  colours  are  not 
distinguishable  at  a  great  distance,  and  further,  that  while  on  a 
still  day  they  may  not  extend  at  all,  and  on  a  windy  day  they 
may  be  blown  in  a  direction  end  on  to  the  observer  and  still  be  unin- 
telligible, a  second  system,  known  as  distance  signalling,  has  been 



introduced  into  the  International  Code,  its  main  characteristic  being 
the  ball,  which  is  used  in  conjunction  with  plain  pennants  and 
square  flags,  of  any  colour,  one  or  more  balls  appearing  in  every 
hoist.      And  beyond  this  there  is  the  semaphore,  which  resembles 

Answering  Pennant 

hoisted  at  Lloyd's 

Signal  Stations  in 

fair  weather. 

Flag  hoisted 
at  Lloyd's 


What  Ship  is  Ihat? 


the  signal-post  of  a  railway  line,  but  has  three  arms,  employed 
to  represent  either  the  ball,  pennant,  or  flag  of  the  distance  signal, 
the  same  code  being  followed  :  an  arm  horizontal  represents  the 
ball,  an  arm  pointing  downwards  a  pennant,  an  arm  pointing 
upwards  a  flag.  A  disc  is  exposed  at  the  head  of  the  post  during 
the  time  the  signalling  is  going  on,  and  when  no  longer  in  use 
it  comes  down,  and  the  arms  fall  and  become  invisible.  To  render 
the  various  symbols  possible  from  small  craft  which  cany  neither 
balls  nor  signal  flags,  the  following  substitutes  may  be  adopted 
and  used  as  distance  signals  :  —  In  place  of  the  pennant  —  Any 
long  strip  of  cloth,  or,  in  lieu,  any  piece  of  board  longer  than  it 
is  wide ;  in  place  of  the  flag — any  square  flag,  a  handkerchief,  or  a 
square  piece  of  cloth ;  in  place  of  the  ball — any  object  approaching 
the  spherical  in  shape,  as  a  hat  or  anything  rolled  up  like  a  ball. 
And  to  effect  a  signal  there  must  be  two  of  each,  because  two 
balls,  two  pennants,  or  two  flags  have  often  to  be  lioisted  together 
to  form  a  symbol. 

The  following  signals  come  under  the  "  Regulations  for  Pre- 
venting Collisions  at  Sea. "  Fog  signals,  Art.  12. — Both  steam  and 
sailing  vessels  must  be  provided  with  fog  horn  and  bell  (except  Turkish 
vessels,  which  employ  a  drum  instead  of  a  bell)  ;  and  they  are  used 
in  the  following  manner  :—  (A)  A  steamship  under  way  shall  make 
with  her  steam  whistle,  or  other  steam  sound  signal,  at  intervals  of 
not  more  than  two  minutes,  a  prolonged  blast.  (B)  A  sailing  ship 
under  Avay  shall  make  with  her  fog  horn,  at  intervals  of  not  more 
than  two  minutes,  when  on  the  starboard  tack  one  blast,  when  on 
the  port  tack  two  blasts  in  succession,  and  when  with  the  wind 
abaft  the  beam  three  blasts  in  succession.     (C)  A  steam  ship  and  a 

252  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

sailing  ship,  when  not  under  way,  shall,  at  intervals  of  not  more 
than  two  minutes,  ring  the  bell.  Signals  of  distress,  Art.  27. — 
"  When  a  ship  is  in  distress  and  requires  assistance  from  other  ships 
or  from  the  shore,  the  following  shall  be  the  signals  to  be  used  or 
displayed  by  her,  either  together  or  separately  ;  that  is  to  say — In 
the  day  time  —  1.    A  gun  fired  at   intervals  of    about  a   minute  ; 

2.  The  International  Code  signal  of  distress  indicated  by  N.C.  ; 

3.  The  distant  signal,  consisting  of  a  square  flag,  having  either 
above  or  below  it  a  ball  or  anything  resembling  a  ball.  At  night — 
1.  A  gun  fired  at  intervals  of  about  a  minute  ;  2.  Flames  on  the  ship 
(as  from  a  burning  tar  barrel,  oil  barrel,  etc.) ;  3.  Rockets  or  shells, 
throwing  stars  of  any  colour  or  description,  fired  one  at  a  time  at 
short  intervals. "  Signals  for  pilots  are  as  follow  : — In  the  daytime 
— 1.  To  be  hoisted  at  the  fore,  the  Union  Jack,  having  round  it  a 
white  border  one-fifth  of  the  breadth  of  the  flag ;  or  2.  The 
International  Code  pilotage  signal  indicated  by  P.T.  At  night. — 
1.  The  pyrotechnic  light,  commonly  known  as  a  blue  light,  every 
fifteen  minutes ;  or  2.  A  bright  white  light,  flashed  or  shown  at 
short  or  frequent  intervals  just  above  the  bulwarks,  for  about  a 
minute  at  a  time."  * 

Meteorological  Office  storm  signals.  —  These  are  sent  to  various 
stations  in  the  United  Kingdom  announcing  atmospheric  disturbances 
near  the  coasts  of  the  British  Isles. 

The  fact  that  one  of  these  notices  has  been  received  at  any  station 
is  made  known  by  hoisting  a  cone  three  feet  high  and  three  feet 
wide  at  base,  which  appears  as  a  triangle  when  hoisted.  The  cone 
is  kept  hoisted  until  dusk,  and  then  lowered,  but  is  hoisted  again  at 
daylight  next  morning,  and  so  on  until  the  end  of  48  hours  from 
the  time  at  which  the  message  was  issued  from  London. 

The  cone  point  downwards  means  that  gales  or  strong  winds 
are  probable,  at  first  from  southward ;  that  is  from  S.E.  round  by 
S.  to  N.W. 

Should  it  appear  likely  that  a  gale  will  begin  from  W.  and  N.W., 
and  also  that  it  is  likely  to  veer  towards  N.  or  N.E.,  the  noi'th  cone 
will  be  hoisted  in  preference  to  the  south  cone. 

The  cone  point  upwards  means  that  gales  or  strong  winds  are 
probable,  at  first  from  the  northward  ;  that  is  from  N.W.  round  by 
N.  to  S.E. 

Should  it  appear  likely  that  a  gale  will  begin  from  between  E.  and 
S.E.,  and  also  that  it  is  likely  to  veer  towards  S.  or  S.W.,  the 
south  cone  will  be  hoisted  in  preference  to  the  north  cone. 

At  dusk,  whenever  a  signal  ought  to  be  flying  if  it  were  daylight, 
a  night  signal  consisting  of  three  lanterns  hung  on  a  triangular 
frame,  may  be  hoisted  in  place  of  the  cone,  point  downwards 
(for  south  cone)  or  point  upwards  (for  north  cone)  as  the  case 
may  be." 

Further  information  and  a  list  of  the  Meteorological  Office  Signal 

*  N.B.— A  person  who  makes  use  of  these  signals  except  in  necessity  is  liable  for 
all  risks  or  labour  incurredby  those  answering  it. 



Stations  may  always  be  obtained  at  the  Meteorological  Office ;  and 
the  reader  may  also  refer  to  Lloyd's  "  Seaman's  Almanac." 

Signal  halyard. — The  halyard  used  to  elevate  signals,  burgees,  or 
any  other  flags  to  a  mast  or  topmast  head.  It  is  a  thin  rope  rove 
through  a  small  sheave  hole  in  the  truck,  and  in  yachts,  etc.,  is 
usually  tied  to  the  shrouds,  a  clove-hitch  being  a  quick  and  secure 
knot  to  employ  in  fastening  it.  (See  Knots.)  By  the  flag  halyard 
is  generally  understood  (in  fore-and-aft  rig)  that  halyard  which 
takes  a  flag  (usually  the  ensign)  up  to  the  peak,  and  often  called 
the  peak  line.     {See  under  Peak.) 

Silent  deaths. — A  name  given  by  fishermen  to  screw  steam 
vessels,  and  possibly  not  altogether  without  reason.  Those  who 
have  found  themselves  acci- 
dentally in  too  close  proxi- 
mity to  large  steamers,  more 
especially  towards  night,  will 
appreciate  the  full  meaning 
of  the  term,  and  will  have  dis- 
covered how  silently  these 
huge  vessels  creep  along. 

Skid. — Wedges  or  sup- 
ports which  fit  under  a  vessel 
when  launching. 

Skiff.  —  An    open    boat 
usually  employed  for  plea- 
sure.     It    varies    in    form 
according  to  locality ;   thus 
on  the  Upper  Thames,  the 
long    light  -  built    pleasure 
boats   with    pointed    stems 
and  extending  sides  are  called  skiffs, 
to  distinguish  them  from  the  gigs,  of 
the  same  district,  Avhich  are  heavier  and 
built  with  a  straight  sheer  and  upright 
stem.   Lower  down,  on  the  same  river, 
the  gig,  or  something  like  it,  becomes 
the  skiff,  while  certain  sailing  boats 
go  by  the  same  name,  and  in  commerce, 
an  oyster  skiff  may  become  almost  a 
fishing    smack.     The    name    is    only 
another  form  of  the  word  "  ship." 

Oyster  skiff. — A  boat  used  in  the 
oyster  fisheries  of  the  Essex  rivers, 
and  occasionally  elsewhere.  (See  under 


Skimming  dish. — A  slang  name 
sometimes  given  to  the  modern  form  of  racing  boat  which,  depending 
for  its  stability  upon  its  centre-board,  is  so  designed  as  to  lie  almost 
entirely  on  the  surface  of  the  water. 

Oyster  Skiff. 

Skimming  Dish. 

254  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

Skin. — The  skin  of  a  vessel  is  the  planking  which  covers  her  ribs. 
Where  the  planking  is  double,  the  inner  layer  is  called  the  skin,  the 
outer  being  the  case. 

Skipper. — The  master  of  a  merchant  vessel ;  called,  by  courtesy, 
captain,  on  shore,  and  always  so  at  sea.  The  man  employed  as 
captain  in  a  yacht  is  also  called  the  skipper. 

Skirts  (of  a  sail). — The  main  body  of  the  sail.  Thus  a  sail 
brailed  up  is  sometimes  said  to  "be  gathered  up  by  the  skirts." 
{See  Brail.) 

Sky. — Skylight. — A  framework  of  wood,  often  glazed  and  made 
to  open,  admitting  light  and  air  into  the  cabin  of  a  vessel. 

Sky  sail. — The  highest  sail  ordinarily  set  on  a  ship,  though  there 
can  be  others  above  it.  It  is  only  used  in  light  winds,  one  on  each 
mast,  and  the  ship  is  then  said  to  be  "flying  her  kites."  (See 
Light  Sails.) 

Slack.  —  Loose  or  slow.  —  The  slack  of  a  rope  is  the  loose 
part  of  it. 

Slack  in  stays. — A  vessel  is  thus  described  when  she  is  slow  in 
coming  round  from  one  tack  to  another.     (See  Tack.  ) 

Slack  tide,  or  slack  water. — That  condition  of  the  tide  when  it  is 
nearly  stationary.  When  it  approaches  its  full  it  becomes  slack 
and  remains  so  until  a  short  time  after  its  turn.  Likewise,  but  in 
a  lesser  degree,  when  it  nears  its  lowest  ebb  it  slackens,  and 
remains  slack  until  the  full  force  of  the  incoming  flood  is  felt. 
At  the  moment  of  its  highest  and  lowest  points,  it  becomes 
theoretically  stationaiy. 

Slammer. — A  slang  term  meaning  a  very  heavy  squall. 

Slew. — To  swing  round  rapidly.  Spoken  sometimes  of  a  boat 
under  sail,  if  allowed  to  turn  her  head  suddenly  round  to  the  wind. 

Slew  rope. — A  rope  by  which  anything  is  slewed  round. 

Sliding. — Sliding  gunter. — A  short  pole  for  extending  a  sail 
upon  a  pole-mast.  It  takes  the  place  of  a  gaff  and  slides  up  and 
down  the  upper  end  of  the  mast,  thereby  reducing  or  increasing  sail 
as  may  be  required.  In  theory  this  principle  is  undeniably  good ; 
but  for  pleasure  boats  the  practice  has  not  become  general,  though 
at  one  time  it  was  much  used  in  the  Royal  Navy. 

Sliding  keel. — The  old  name  for  a  centre  keel  (which  see). 

Sliding  seats  (in  rowing).  —  Movable  seats  used  in  bight  racing 
boats  to  enable  the  rowers  to  in- 
crease the  length  of  their  stroke. 
They  may  either  run  on  metal  or 
glass  bearers  or  be  carried  on  rollers, 
the  latter  method  being  now  usually 
the  favourite.  It  has  been  said  that 
racing  records  since  the  introduc- 
tion of  sliding  seats  have  failed  to 
prove  their  superiority  over  the 
fixed   seats.     This,    however,   is   a  SuniNG  Seats. 





mistake  :  records  are  becoming  lessened  year  by  year ;  and  thougb 
the  best  times  made  on  fixed  seats  may  not  appear  to  be  so  very  far 
behind  those  of  to-day,  it  must  be  remembered  that  a  matter  of  a 
few  seconds  often  means  a  considerable  distance  when  boats  are 
travelling  through  the  water  at  racing  speed ;  while  in  comparing 
old  records  with  those  of  to-day,  conditions  of  wind,  tide,  and 
weather  are  too  often  left  out  of  consideration. 

Sliding  ways. — In  shipbuilding,  the  baulks  upon  which  a  vessel 
slides  into  the  water  when  launched. 

Sling.^-1.  In  square  rig,  the  sling  of  a  yard  is  the  middle  point, 
(See  Yard.)      2.    In   fore-and-aft    rig,    a  rope    passed  under  any- 
thing to  give  it  support  or  lift  it  by.     An  instance  may  be  given  : — 
It  is  the  practice  in  yachts  to  put 
sail  covers  over  such  sails  as  can- 
not be  readily  bent  and  unbent, 
when  the  boat  has  been  out  and 
may   be   required  again   shortly. 
Thus    the    mainsail    is    lowered, 
furled  and  covered  with  the  cloth, 
which  is  also  laid  over  the  gaff. 
But  to  do  this  the  peak  halyards 
must  be  removed,  or  otherwise  the 
cover  could  not  be  taken  over  the 
gaff.     The  blocks  are,  therefore, 
unhooked,  and  when  the  cloth  is 
passed  over  they  are  attached  to  slings  which  pass  under  the  boom 
and  over  the  cover  (see  fig.)    3.  The  topping  lift  in  some  sailing 
boats,  the  "  Una  "  more  particularly,  and  in  those  carrying  lug  sails 
is  sometimes  called  the  sling. 
Sling  your  hook. — A  slang  expression,  meaning  "  Be  off !" 
Slip. — To  let  go  a  thing  purposely,  as  to  "  slip  the  anchor  "—that 
is,  to  let  it  go  from  the  ship. 

Slips. — In  ship-building,  the  inclined 

plane  upon  which  a  vessel  is  built  or 

repaired,  the  slope   of  which  enables 

her  to  be  "  slipped  "  into  the  water 

when  finished. 
Slip  stoppers. — Slips  or  stoppers,  on 

shipboard,  are  ropes  used  in  letting  go  Jtlr-stau 

the  lashings  of  a  large  anchor.  J' 

Sloop      (Dutch,     sloep ;     French, 

ehaloupe). — "  A  vessel  with  one  mast 

like  a  cutter ;  but  having  a  iib  stay, 

winch  a  cutter  has  not."     This  defi- 
nition, which  gives  the  foundation  of 

the  difference  between  the  cutter  and 

the  sloop,  necessitates  that  the  bow- 
sprit of  the  latter  be  a  standing  (or 

fixed)  one,  and  not,  as  in  the  cutter,  a  Sloop. 

256  A   DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEEMS. 

reeving  one — i.e.,  one  ready  at  any  time  to  be  drawn  inboard  :  for 
in  the  sloop,  the  jib-stay  takes  the  place  of  the  cutter's  fore-stay  in 
giving  permanent  support  to  the  mast,  which  it  could  not  do  were 
it  liable  to  be  shifted  in  or  out  with  the  bowsprit.  The  structural 
difference  between  the  two  is,  therefore,  in  the  fixing  of  the  bow- 
sprit, while  the  result  of  this  difference  is  seen  in  the  arrangement 
of  the  head  sails.  In  the  cutter,  the  forestay  is  attached  to  the 
stem-head,  and  the  foresail  runs  on  this  stay,  the  jib  being  set 
flying  —  tbat  is,  without  a  stay  at  all.  In  the  sloop,  on  the 
other  hand,  the  fore-stay  (now  called  the  jib-stay)  is  fixed  to  the 
nose  of  the  bowsprit,  and  the  jib  is  hoisted  on  this  stay  ;  and  it 
is  generally  made  sufficiently  large  to  do  entirely  away  with  the 
foresail.  It  may  possibly  be  said  that  this  large  sail  has  as 
much  right  to  be  called  a  foresail  as  a  jib,  and  so,  perhaps, 
from  a  certain  point  of  view,  it  has.  But  a  jib,  in  the  usual 
acceptation  of  the  meaning,  is  a  sail  run  out  on  a  boom  at  the 
head  of  a  vessel,  irrespective  of  the  manner  in  which  it  is  set ;  and 
as  the  sail  in  question  answers  to  that  meaning,  it  is  properly 
called  a  jib.  Moreover  (though  it  is  not  customary),  the  sloop 
may  have  the  two  head  sails  common  to  the  cutter,  the  jib-stay 
still  remaining,  and  in  such  a  case  the  confusion  entailed  by  changing 
the  names  of  sails  would  be  very  great.  It  will  be  understood  from 
the  above  that  the  bowsprit  of  the  sloop  is  usually  shorter  than  that 
of  the  cutter  ;  and,  indeed,  in  some  cases,  it  is  so  short  as  to  become 
little  more  than  a  bumpkin  or  jigger. 

The  Americans  have  a  method  of  fitting  some  of  their  racing 
yachts  with  a  short  fixed  bowsprit,  over  which  is  run  out  a  sort  of 
jib-boom.  The  fore-stay  is  carried  to  the  head  of  the  short  bow- 
sprit :  this  enables  the  size  of  the  foresail  to  be  greatly  increased, 
while  a  jib  is  also  set  on  the  jib-boom.  They  call  this  sloop  rig,  and 
obtain  very  successful  results  with  it. 

Further  reference  to  the  differences  existing  between  the  cutter 
and  the  sloop  will  be  found  under  the  heading  Cutter,  under  which 
they  are  also  illustrated. 

The  sloop  rig  is  very  usual  on  the  Norfolk  broads,  though  else- 
where it  is  not  so  common.  It  is  very  handy  in  single-handed 
sailing,  and  may  be  applied  to  craft  of  almost  any  size. 

Sloop  of  war  (old  Naval  term). — The  general  name  at  one  time 
given  to  ships  of  war  below  the  size  of  corvettes  and  above  that  of 
brigs.     The  term  is  still  in  use  for  a  certain  class  of  war  vessels. 

Slops.  —  "A  name  given  to  ready-made  clothes,  and  other 
furnishings,  for  seamen,  by  Maydman,  in  1691.  In  Chaucer's  time, 
sloppe  meant  a  sort  of  breeches.  In  a  manuscript  account  of  the 
wardrobe  of  Queen  Elizabeth,  is  an  order  to  John  Fortescue  for  the 
delivery  of  some  Naples  fustian  for  '  Sloppe  for  Jack  Green,  our 
Foole.'"     (Smyth.) 

Slot. — A  groove  or  hole  for  a  pin. 

Sludge. — Mud  deposited  by  a  stream. 

Slue.— (See  Slew.) 




I '.(UTS. 

Slush     bucket. 
On     ship     board,     the 
bucket  containing  the 
grease   for   the  masts, 

Smack. — The  name 
given  indiscriminately 
to  any  sort  of  fishing 
vessel.  But  the  fisher- 
men distinguish  be- 
tween a  smack  and  a 
boat,  the  smack  being 
considerably  the  larger 
of  the  two  and  engaged 
exclusively  in  trawl- 
ing. It  is  wholly 
decked,  and  often  sup- 
plied with  a  steam 
engine  for  getting  in 
the  trawl,  whereas  the 
boat  is  often  (though 
of  perhaps  from  20  to 
40  tons  burden)  only  half  decked.  The  finest  smacks  in  the  world 
sail  out  of  Grimsby,  Yarmouth  and  Lowestoft,  and  some  from 
Brixham.  Formerly  a  boat  for  mercantile  or  passenger  service  was 
called  a  smack,  even  though  as  high  as  200  tons  burden. 

Smack  smooth. — An  expression  signifying  that  nothing  stands 
above  the  deck ;  or  that  everything  has  been  carried  away,  leaving 
the  decks  absolutely  bare. 

Smart  money. — The  name  given  to  the  pensions  of  wounded 
men — calculated  according  to  their  rank. 

Smart  tackle. — An  expression  used  by  sailors  for  the  necessary 
certificates  to  enable  a  man  to  obtain  smart  money. 

Smoke-stack. — The  funnel  and  its  pipes,  on  a  steam  vessel. 

Snaffle,  or  shaffle. — A  collar  with  open  ends  :  one  of  the  fittings 
of  a  boom  to  its  mast.    (See  Gooseneck  and  Shaffle.) 

Snaking. — Much  the  same  as  worming,  only  usually  done 
with  larger  stuff,  as  with  a  small  line  round  a  rope.  It  is  said  that 
the  backstays  of  the  ship  "  Shannon, "  when  she  engaged  the  "  Chesa- 
peake," were  snaked  with  half-inch  rope  to  prevent  their  falling 
asunder  if  shot  away. 

Snarley-yow. — A  discontented  person. 

Snarl-knot. — A  knot  which  cannot  be  drawn  loose. 

Snatch. — Any  guide  or  block  for  a  rope  to  pass  through,  ao  as 
to  alter  its  direction. 

Snatch  block. — An  iron  block  of  one  sheave  which  is  fitted  so  that 
a  rope  can  be  slipped  into  it  without  passing  the  end  through.  (See 




It  has  two  masts 

Dumb  snatch. — A  snatch  in  which 
there  is  no  sheave. 

Snood. — The  attachment  of  a 
fishing  hook  to  its  line ;  as  the  gut 
or  gimp. 

Snotter.  —  The  support  into 
which  the  foot  of  a  sprit  is  placed 
so  as  to  prevent  it  from  slipping  ,$■„„ 
down  its  mast.  In  small  boats  it  is 
usually  a  loop  in  a  rope,  in  barges 
it  is  an  iron  ring.  (See  fig.  ;  also 
under  Sprit.) 

Snow.  —  "A  vessel  formerly 
much  in  use.  It  differs  slightly  from  a  brig, 
similar  to  the  main  and  foremasts  of  a  ship,  and  close  abaft  the  main 
mast  is  a  trysail-mast.  Snows  differ  only  from  brigs  in  that  the  boom 
mainsail  is  hooped  to  the  main-mast  in  the  brig  and  traverses  on  the 
trysail-mast  in  the  snow."  (Smyth.)  The  vessel  is  becoming  extinct. 

Snubbing. — Bringing  a  vessel  up  suddenly 
with  an  anchor  and  short  cable.  Generally 
speaking,  to  snub  is  to  check  suddenly. 

Snug. — Ready  for  a  gale  or  for  the  night,  etc. 

Sny. — 1.  A  diminutive  toggle,  often  attached 
to  a  flag.  2.  In  shipbuilding,  one  of  the  timbers 
in  the  bow  of  the  vessel.  Also  a  slight  upward 
curve  in  a  piece  of  timber. 

Soak. — A  boat  is  said  to  soak  up  or  down  on 
the  tide  when,  in  making  her  way  across  the  tide,  she  is  carried  up 
or  down  with  it. 

Sod-bank. — A  phenomenon  sometimes  seen  in  calm  water.  A 
multiplication  of  objects  by  refraction. 

Soft  plank. — An  easy  berth  on  board  a  ship. 

Soldier's  wind. — A  wind  which  serves  either  way — therefore,  a 
side  wind.  It  is  undoubtedly  so  called  because  when  a  vessel  is 
once  under  way  with  such  a  wind — there  being  no  tacking  required 
— even  a  soldier  can  sail  her. 

Sole  (from  the  French  sol  —  a  floor). — A  cabin  deck  is  some- 
times called  by  this  name. 

Sole  of  the  rudder. — A  piece  added  to  make  it  level  with  a  false  keel. 

Sole  plate. — A  plate  of  iron  forming  the  foundation  for  a  marine 

Solstices. — "The  epochs  when  the  sun  passes  through  the 
solstitial  points."  They  mark  the  beginning  of  summer  and  winter 
much  as  the  equinoxes  do  the  beginning  of  autumn  and  spring. 

Sound. — 1.  Sound,  in  perfect  condition. 

2.  An  inlet  from  the  sea  over  which  soundings  may  be  taken,  as 
Plymouth  Sound.     A  deep  bay. 




Sounding. — Taking  depth  of  water  and  the  quality  of  ground,  by 
the  lead  and  line.  Tallow  being  inserted  into  the  hollow  space  at 
the  bottom  of  the  lead,  will  enable  a  small  quantity  of  the  ground 
upon  which  it  descends  to  be  brought  up,  and  by  this  means  an 
experienced  navigator  is  enabled  to  judge  his  whereabouts  in  foggy 
weather,  or  if  for  any  other  cause  he  is  unable  to  determine  his 

Sounding  line. — The  instruments  used  in  sounding.  (See  Lead 
and  Line.) 

South. — Southing. — Distance  southward. 
The  opposite  to  Northing  (which  see). 

Southing  of  the  moon. — The  time  at  which 
the  moon  passes  the  meridian  at  any  place. 

South-wester  (pronounced "sou-wester  ").— 
A  waterproof  hat,  with  a  large  flap  behind, 
much  used  by  fishermen  and  sailors. 

Span. — The  span  of  a  rope,  or  of  the 
rigging,  on  shipboard,  is  the  same  as,  in 
architecture,  is  the  span  of  an  arch — i.e., 
the  distance  across  its  extremities.  It 
follows,  therefore,  that  to  form  a  span,  a 
rope  must  be  bent.  And  since  a  rope 
thus  bent  may  be  used  for  a  multitude 
of  purposes,  the  actual  meaning  of  the 
word  "span"  has  become  forgotten, 
and  the  rope  itself  has  come  to  be  called 
the  span.  The  span  of  the  rigging  ha, 
theoretically,  the  distance  across  the 
shrouds,  from  dead-eye  to  dead-eye ; 
but,  for  the  reason  above-mentioned, 
the  span  in  practice  is  often,  as  des- 
cribed by  Smyth — "  The  length  of  the 
shrouds  from  the  dead-eye  on  one  side, 
over  the  mast,  to  the  dead-eye  on  the 
other  side."  But,  in  proof  that  this 
is  not  the  actual  and  true  span,  we 
have  the  expression  "  To  span  in  the 
rigging,"  which  Is,  according  to  the 
same  authority,  "  to  draw  the  upper 
parts  of  the  shrouds  together  by  the 
tackles,  in  order  to  seize  on  (attach) 
the  cat-harpings, "  or,  in  other  words, 
to  reduce  (span  in)  the  lateral  span  of 
the  shrouds  on  one  side,  at  the  point 
where  the  cat-harpings  are  secured. 
Our  business,  is,  liowever,  with  prac- 
tice, and  the  simplest  definition  which 
can  be  given  of  a  span  is,  perhaps, 
a  rope   bent  so  as  to  form  two  legs. 


s  2 



Spanish  Reef. 

Thus,   a  short  rope   or  chain  with  both    ends  secured  to  a    spar 

so  that  a  purchase  may  be  hooked  to  the  bight  (middle)  is  a  span  ; 

and  this  is  the  way  in  which  the  peak-halyards  of  a  heavy  gaff  are 

usually  fitted,  whether  in  a  yacht  or  in  any  other  craft,  thereby 

giving  the  peak  a  lift  in  two  places.     And,  in  the  same  manner, 

if  a  rope,  having  an  eye  or  a  block  at  each  end,  be  attached  by 

its  middle  to  any  portion  of  a  ship's  rigging,  it   forms  a  span  ; 

and  this   arrangement  is  sometimes  made  use  of    as   a  guide  for 

leading  sheets  or  any  other  ropes  in  a  desired  direction .     Again,  in 

square  rigged  ships  we  find  short  ropes 

with  blocks  seized  (fastened)  into  each 

end,  hanging  from  the  mast  caps,  the 

blocks  taking  the  main  lifts,  topmast 

studding-sail  halyards,  etc. ;  and  these 

blocks,  because  attached  to  a  span,  are 

called  span  blocks. 

Spanish  reef.— 1.  In  square  rigged 

vessels,  the  yards  lowered  on  the  cap  of 

the  mast.     2.  A   method   of   reducing 

the  size  of  (reefing)  a  jib  sail,  by  tying 

the  head  of  it  into  a  knot. 

Spank. — To  spank  along  is   to   be 

carried  briskly  along  by  a  fine  fresh, 

or,   as  it  is   often   called,   a  spanking 


Spanker. — The  gaff  sail  on  the  mizzen  mast  of  a  ship.     It  is  also 

called  the  driver.     It  is  not,  however,  the  gaff  sail  on  the  mizzen 

mast  of  a  bark  :  that  is  the  mizzen  ;  and  the  same  on  the  barkentine. 
Spar. — A  spar  is  one  of  the  timber  members  of  a  vessel's  gear 

disunited  from  the  rest.  A  boom,  a  gaff,  a  yard,  or  any  other  such 
member,  is  itself  a  spar  ;  and  all  these,  taken  collectively,  form  the 
spars  of  a  ship.  Thus  we  may  come  across  a  member  of  which  we 
do  not  immediately  recognise  the  purpose  ;  but  we  know  it  at  once 
to  be  a  spar. 

Spar  deck. — (Possibly  meaning  "spare  deck.")—  (See  Deck.) 
Speaking  trumpet.  —  An  instrument  used  on  shipboard  for 
speaking  to  someone  at  a  distance  or  in   a  high  wind  ;  and  if  the 
amateur  proposes  to  take  his  boat  to  sea  or  to  visit  strange  waters 
he  will  often  find  it  useful. 

Spell. — Usually  a  period  of  work  allotted  to  a  man  (see  also 
TRICK),  but  it  often  implies  merely  a  period;  as  "  I  shall  take  a 
spell  on  deck,"  meaning  I  shall  go  on  deck  for  a  time."  The  word 
is  much  used  at  sea  :  in  its  old  sense  it  signifies  taking  another's 
place,  from  whence  may  be  derived  the  exclamation  "Spell  ho!" 
meaning  "  time  to  be  relieved,"  "  time  to  cease,"  or  "  time  to  rest." 
Spencer. — In  square  rigged  vessels,  a  fore-and-aft  gaff  sail 
introduced  on  the  main-mast  in  place  of  the  mizzen  staysails. 
They    are    generally    attached  to    the  gaff  by    hoops    (like    the 




Spider  Hoops. 

mast-hoops) ;  and  either  drawn  in  along  the  gaff  or  brailed  up  like 
the  sail  of  a  barge. 

Spent. — Broken  or  injured  in  sucli  a  manner  as  to  be  no  longer 
serviceable.  We  often  hear  of  a  spent  mast  or  any  other  spar ;  some- 
times of  a  spent  sail,  when  it  is  torn. 

Spider  Hoop. — 1.  In  yachts,  etc.,  a  metal  hoop  round  the 
lower  part  of  a  mast,  fitted  with  belaying  pins  for  the  various 
halyards,  and  often  with  one  or  two  shames,  to  take  gooseneck 
joints.  When  there  are  two 
shaffles,  one  is  aft  to  take  the 
boom,  the  other  forward  for  a 
spinnaker  boom.  2.  In  ships 
there  is  another  spider  hoop  on 
those  masts  which  are  square 
rigged.  It  is  placed  under  the 
futtock-plate  and  fitted  with 
eyes  to  take  the  shackles  of  the 
futtoek  shrouds.  (See  Futtock- 
plate  and  Shrouds.) 

Spile.  —  The    name    for    a 
short  spike  or  pin. 

Spill  (of  a  sail). — To  cause 
it  to  cease  its  action,  whether  it  be  by  lowering  it  or  by  so  bringing 
it  to  the  wind  that  it  no  longer  draws.  It  is  found  in  practice,  and 
more  especially  in  large  vessels  setting  square  sails,  that  a  sail  will 
continue  to  hold  wind  for  an  appreciable  time  after  the  vessel  has 
been  brought  up  head  to  wind  ;  and  before  a  large  sail  is  furled  it 
is  necessary  to  empty  it,  as  it  were,  of  the  wind  it  holds.  This  may 
be  done  by  bringing  its  side  directly  to  the  wind  and  letting  it  flap 
itself  free  of  wind,  or,  in  other  words,  spill  itself.  With  small 
craft  to  spill  is  usually  to  lower,  or  partly  lower,  a  sail. 

Spinnaker  (in  yachts). — A  racing  sail  of  immense  spread, 
reaching  from  the  topmast  head  to  the  end  of  the  spinnaker  boom, 
which  is  a  spar  set  out  to  take  it.  The  spinnaker  is  set  on  the 
weather  side,  that  is  on  the  side  opposite  to  that  on  which  the  main- 
sail stands,  and  is  kept  in  position  by  guys  forward  and  aft.  It 
follows  from  this  that  it  can  only  be  used  in  such  a  situation  when 
running  :  but  in  some  instances  it  can  be  carried  forward  when  the 
boat  comes  on  to  the  wind,  and  by  taking  the  boom  along  the  bow- 
sprit the  sail  may  thus  be  made  to  do  service  as  a  balloon  jib  ;  and 
in  this  manner  it  is  now  often  employed  in  small  craft.  (See  fig. 

Spinnaker  topsail,  more  properly  called  the  big  topsail. — A  top- 
sail on  the  principle  of  a  lug-sail,  but  the  clew  of  which  is  ex- 
tended on  a  short  yard  called  a  jack  yard  (which  sec).  It  has  no 
connection  with  the  spinnaker,  except  that  it  is  often  used  at  the 
same  time. 
Spirit  compass. — The  modern  and  improved  form  of  mariners' 

262  A   DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEKMS. 

compass,  in  which  the  card  floats  in  spirit  instead  of  heing  balanced 
on  a  pin. 

Spirkets,  spirketting. — A  term  in  shipwrighting.  (See  Quick 
Work.  ) 

Spit. — A  small  projection  of  land,  or  a  sand  bank  projecting  at 
low  tide  into  the  water.  The  term  is  common  where  the  shores  of 
the  sea  are  flat,  or,  again,  as  in  "  Spithead." 

Spitfire. — A  name  sometimes  given  to  the  smallest  jib-sail  a  boat 
carries,  and  used  only  in  very  bad  weather,  or  alone  to  steer  by. 
(See  Jib.) 

Splice. — A  method  of  joining  rope  by  interweaving  the  strands. 
It  is  a  very  useful  art  for  an  amateur  to  acquire,  and  though  almost 
impossible  to  teach  by  description,  can  be  easily  learned.  Any 
fisherman  will  be  glad,  for  a  few  shillings,  to  impart  the  information. 
(See  under  Knots  for  simple  splicing.)  When  two  ends  of  rope  are 
joined  by  untwisting  the  strands  of  only  a  short  part  of  each,  the 
union  is  thick  and  is  called  a  short  splice.  If  a  long  piece  be  un- 
ravelled on  each  rope  and  the  join  made  fine,  and  well  beaten  with 
a  marling  spike,  or  any  other  weighty  tool,  so  that  the  join  may  be 
passed  through  the  sheave  hole  of  a  block,  it  is  known  as  a  long 
splice.  An  eye-splice  is  made  by  turning  up  the  end  of  a  rope,  and 
splicing  it  into  the  rope  itself  so  as  to  form  an  eye  at  the  end. 

To  "  splice  the  main-brace  "  is  one  of  the  many  metaphorical  ex- 
pressions used  by  seamen  in  old  times.  "The  phrase,"  says  Dr. 
Denham  Robinson,  "  denotes  an  extra  allowance  of  spirits  in  cases  of 
cold  or  wet."     (Brande  and  Cox.) 

Splicing -fid. — A  spike  for  opening  the  strands  of  a  rope  when  splicing 

Sponson,  or  sponsing  (in  paddle-wheel  steam  boats). — The 
staging  between  the  paddle  box  and  the  vessel's  sides.  It  adds 
strength  to  the  paddle-box,  and  forms  a  platform  upon  which  the 
men  may  stand  who  work  the  springs  (ropes)  by  which  the  vessel  is 
held  at  the  proper  distance  from  a  quay  or  pier. 

Spoon  drift. — Spray  or  moving  foam  from  the  top  of  waves. 
The  result  of  a  sudden  squall,  generally  a  white  squall. 

Spooning,  or  spooming. — Driving  before  a  heavy  gale. 

Spray. — The  foam  of  the  sea  thrown  up  by  breakers  or  by  the 
water  dashing  against  rocks,  etc. 

Spring. — The  name  given  to  a  rope  temporarily  attached  to  a 
buoy,  pier,  or  dock,  and  by  which  a  vessel  or  steamboat  is  hauled  in 
and  held  for  a  time.  It  is  called  after  the  position  it  occupies 
with  regard  to  the  vessel,  as  the  "forward  spring,"  the  "quarter 
spring,"  the  "  after  spring." 

To  spring  is  to  crack  or  split,  usually  spoken  of  a  spar,  as  to  spring 
the  mast,  or  to  spring  the  bowsprit. 

The  spring  of  a  vessel  is  her  elasticity  under  sail. 

Spring  a  leak. — A  vessel  taking  water  by  any  accident  is  said  to 
spring  a  leak.  The  flags  N.S.  in  the  International  Code  signify  "  I 
have  sprung  a  leak. " 



Fig.  1. 

Spring  stays  are  extra  stays  to  assist  the  usual  stays  in  any  undue 

Spring  tides. — The  tides  at  full  and  new  moon,  when 
(the  sun  and  moon  heing  in  a  line  with  the  earth  and 
consequently  raising  the  waters  of  the  ocean  to  a  maxi- 
mum) the  tides  are  at  their  highest  and  lowest.  At 
these  times  the  tide  is  high  approximately  at  12  o'clock, 
and  low  at  6  o'clock  ;  when  therefore  we  meet  with  the 
expression  "  between  12  o'clock  high  and  6  o'clock  low 
water "  we  know  that  the  spring  tides  are  meant. 
Questions  of  law  occasionally  arise  with  regard  to  that 
portion  of  the  foreshore  whicli  lies  between  the  low 
water-mark  of  neap  tide  and  that  of  spring  tide.  (See 
also  Lagging  and  Making  of  Tides.) 

Sprit. — Sprit  sail  (often  pronounced  by  the  fisher- 
men, as  it  is  in  Holland,  —  "  spreet  "). — The  word 
"  sprit "  is  very  ancient,  and  indeed,  of  Saxon  origin, 
meaning  "  to  sprout "  (spoken  of  a  pole).  Hence,  we 
have  the  bow-sprit,  which  sprouts  out  from  the  bow ;  and 
the  sprit  sail,  in  old  ships,  was  set  under  the  bowsprit, 
while,  in  very  old  representations,  a  small  mast  rises 
from  the  bowsprit,  carrying  that  which  is  described  as 
a  sprit  top-sail.  The  sprit,  in  modern  sailing  craft,  is  a  pole  set 
diagonally  across  a  fore-and-aft  sail  to  extend  that  sail  by  the 
peak.  The  heel  of  the  sprit  is  placed  in  a  loop,  called  the 
snotler,  which  is  either  suspended  from  the  masthead,  and  held  in 
to  the  lower  part  of  the  mast 
by  a  ring  or  grommet, — and  this 
is  the  system  followed  on  barges 
(see  fig.  1) ;  or,  in  small  open 
boats,  it  may  consist  simply  of  a 
grommet  fitting  closely  round 
the  mast,  and  over  the  end  of 
the  sprit,  the  tension  preventing 
it  from  slipping  down.  (Both 
of  these  are  illustrated  under 
Snotter.)  The  head  of  the 
sprit  fits  into  a  cringle  made 
to  receive  it  at  the  peak  of 
the  sail,  which  is  thus  set 
up  tighter  as  the  snotter  is 
brought  nearer  to  or  elevated 
on  the  mast,  and  vice  versa. 
The  advantages  of  this  rig  are 
that  the  sau,  having  brails 
round  it,  may  be  gathered  up 
almost  instantaneously  (tig.  2, 
also  diagram  under  Brail)  ; 
and  that,  when  reefing,  it  may  Fig.  2. 



Fig.  3. 

either  be  loAvered,  as  with  boom 
sails  (i.e.,  reefed  down),  or  reefed 
upward,  i.e.,  without  lowering,  as 
may  often  be  seen  in  hay  barges 
and  the  like. 

Sprit  and  foresail.  —  The  sprit 
sail,  as  applied  to  small  boats,  is 
used  in  conjunction  with  a  fore- 
sail, in  consequence  of  which  the 
combination  is  called  the  sprit  and 
foresail  rig  (fig.  3).  It  was  at  one 
time  very  popular,  but  is  now  dying 
out  except  in  the  case  of  barges, 
to  which  it  is  peculiarly  adapted. 

Sprocket. — An  old  name  for  the  barrel  or  wheel  of  a  capstan. 

Spun  yarn  (pronounced  by  the  fishermen  "spuniari)." — The 
fibres  of  old  rope  twisted  into  yarns ;  in  other  words,  a  species  of 
string.  It  is  used  for  serving,  etc.  When  tarred  it  is  sometimes 
called  whipping. 

Spur.— 1.  A  small  cleat.  {See  Thumb  Cleat.)  2.  Spurs. — 
Timbers  used  in  the  launching  of  a  vessel. 

Squadron. — Part  of  a  fleet  under  a  flag  officer.  The  principal 
yacht  club  in  the  kingdom  is  called  the  Royal  Yacht  Squadron. 

Squall. — A  sudden  gust  of  wind,  or  a  sudden  increase  in  its  force. 
There  are  white  squalls,  such  as  those  met  with  in  the  Mediterranean 
and  Eastern  seas,  and  black  squalls,  such  as  we  are  familiar  with  in 
this  country.  If  a  beginner  in  the  art  of  sailing  be  overtaken  by  a 
squall  he  should  quickly  put  his  boat  up  into  the  wind,  and  lose  no 
time  in  taking  in  sail.  On  rare  occasions  it  may  be  necessary  to 
run  forward  and  cut  the  halyards  ;  such,  however,  is  a  last  resource. 
Should  he  see  it  coming,  however — and  there  is,  usually,  no  mis- 
taking its  appearance  when  once  seen — the  boat  may  be  luffed  up 
and  the  sail  lowered  to  meet  it.  It  is  a  good  rule  for  the  amateur 
to  follow  the  professional.  If  he  be  sailing  in  squally  weather  and 
within  sight  of  beach  or  fishing  craft,  let  him  keep  an  eye  on  those 
to  windward  of  him.  If  they  take  in  sail  it  is  high  time  he  should 
do  the  same,  for  they  know  the  temper  of  the  elements  better  than 
ever  he  can  hope  to. 

Square. — Square  rig. — The  name  given  to  that  method  of  dis- 
posing the  sails  of  a  ship  in  which  they  hang  athwart  the  ship.  They 
are  then  called  square  sails,  in  contradistinction  to  those  which  hang 
in  the  same  line  as  the  keel  and  are  c&WeA  fore-and-aft.  The  name 
"  square  rigged  "  is  given,  as  a  general  rule,  to  those  vessels  which 
carry  square  sails,  notwithstanding  that  they  carry  fore-and-aft 
sails  at  the  same  time.  Thus  a  bark,  a  brigantine,  and  a. topsail 
schooner  are  square  rigged,  while  a  cutter,  a  yawl,  and  many 
schooner-yachts  are  fore-and-aft  rigged.  And  yet  the  discrimina- 
tion must  be  considered  somewhat  arbitrary,  for  there  are  vessels 



KETCH  Setting  Square  Sails. 

wluchcarry  square  sails,  and 
even  square  top-sails,  and 
which  are  always  described 
as  fore-and-aft  rigged.  It 
was  indeed  at  one  time  the 
practice  on  cutters,  sloops, 
yawls,  etc.,  all  of  which 
we  now  regard  as  purely 
fore-and-aft  rigged,  to  set 
square  sails  for  running. 
These,  of  course,  are  obso- 
lete so  far  as  yachts  are  con- 
cerned, their  place  having 
been  taken  by  the  spin- 
naker. But  they  still  exist 
in  many  of  the  coasting 
craft,  notably  in  the  ketches, 
billyboys,  and  barges.  The 
ketch  may  often  be  seen 
with  a  big  lower  square 
sail,  and  on  rarer  occasions  with  one  or  two  square  topsails.  These 
are  illustrated  under  the  headings  Ketch  and  Billyboy,  and  the 
accompanying  figure  illustrates  a  vessel  setting  both.  These  are 
called  the  square  sail,  or  square  top-sail,  as  the  case  may  be,  the  latter 
being  sometimes  set  alone  between  the  upper  and  lower  caps  of  the  mast- 
head, as  described  under  Middle  Topsail. 

Square  stem  and  square  stern. — A  square 
stem  is  one  which  meets  the  water  at  a 
right  angle,  and  a  raking  stem  or  bow  that 
winch  meets  it  at  an  acute  angle.  A  square 
stern  is  a  stem  cut  off  square,  that  is,  having 
no  counter,  the  rudder  being  braced  to  the 
boat  outside  it.  This  is  generally  the  build 
of  bawleys  and  dredging  boats ;  it  enables 
nets  or  dredges  to  be  worked,  if  necessary, 
over  the  stern.     (See  fig.) 

Square  knot  or  right  knot.  —  Names, 
among  others,  by  which  the  reef-knot  is  sometimes  called. 

Squirm. — A  twist  in  a  rope  is  sometimes  thus  called. 

Stability  is  the  tendency  in  a  boat  to  keep  the  upright,  or  to 
return  to  it  when  careened  over.  Boats  are  designed  in  accordance 
with  the  law  of  hydrostatics,  that  pressure  exerted  upon  a  liquid 
surface  is  transmitted  equally  upon  all  parts  of  a  body  immersed. 
Their  form  is,  theoretically,  such  as  to  present  a  larger  surface  to 
the  pressure  of  the  water  when  heeled  over  than  when  upright ;  and 
they  are  constantly  tending,  therefore,  to  preserve  or  regain  the 
natural  equilibrium.  Breadth,  of  course,  will  increase  this  tendency  ; 
depth  furnishes  a  resistance  to  the  force  of  wind  upon  sails ;  while 
length  decreases  the  tendency  to  lateral  movement,  called  lee-way 

Square  Stem  and  Stern. 

266  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

(which  see).  It  is  in  the  proper  application  of  such  data  that  the 
quality  of  stability — called  stiffness  by  seamen — is  obtained.  (See 

Stage. — A  gang-board  with  side  rails,  to  enable  persons  to  walk 
on  board  a  vessel  alongside  a  quay,  etc. 

Staith. — A  landing  place  in  a  river.  The  term  is  very  common  in 

Stanchion  (sometimes  called  stanchard). — An  upright  post  in 
the  frame  of  a  ship.  Certain  stanchions  support  the  beams  in  a 
vessel,  others  are  to  be  found  along  the  bulwarks.  (See  Frame.) 
The  small  posts  sometimes  seen  running  round  the  gunwale  of  a 
launch,  yacht,  or  part  of  a  deck,  and  supporting  a  man-rope,  are 
also  called  stanchions. 

Stand. — Stand  by. — An  order  to  be  ready  to  do  something  ;  as 
"  Stand  by  at  the  anchor,"  i.e.,  make  ready  to  let  go  the  anchor. 

Stand  clear. — Keep  out  of  the  way;  as  "  Stand  clear  of  the  cable." 

In  sailing  : — 

To  stand  out,  is  to  be  sailing  out  from  the  shore. 

To  stand  in,  to  be  coming  in  towards  it. 

To  stand  on,  to  continue  on  the  course. 

Stand  up  to  within  &  points,  4  points,  etc.     (See  under  SAILING.) 

A  sail  is  said  to  stand  when  it  is  lifted.  Thus  it  may  stand 
well  or  ill. 

Standing  bowsprit. — A  bowsprit  which  is  fixed,  such  as  that  of  a 
sloop,  in  contradistinction  to  one  which  reeves  in  and  out  as  does 
that  of  a  cutter.  This  is  the  distinguishing  mark  between  those 
two  rigs.     (See  diagram  under  SLOOP. ) 

Standing  lug. — A  lugsail  without  a  boom,  or  its  tack  made  fast 
by  the  mast.     (See  Lug.  ) 

Standing  part  of  a  rope  or  tackle. — That  part  which  is'made  fast, 
in  contradistinction  to  the  running  part,  whicli  is  the  part  hauled 

Standing  rigging.  —  The  ropes  which  support  masts,  and  the 
disposition  of  which,  therefore,  is  not  continually  being  altered, 
constitute  that  which  is  called  standing  rigging,  in  contradis- 
tinction to  «those  which,  being  attached  to  the  sails,  are  constantly 
moving,  and  form  the  running  rigging.  Shrouds  and  stays  consti- 
tute standing  rigging.  The  standing  rigging  of  a  cutter  yacht  is 
as  follows: — (See  diagram  No.  1  under  RIGGING.)  To  the  lower 
mast — 1.  The  shrouds,  which  support  it  laterally.  2.  The  fore- 
stay,  preventing  it  from  being  drawn  backward.  3.  The  backstays, 
preventing  it  from  going  forward :  these  are  sometimes  called  runners, 
because  they  may  be  slackened  off  as  the  boom  swings  over  or  when 
running  before  a  wind.  The  jib-stay  of  the  cutter  is  not,  properly 
speaking,  a  stay,  being  a  running  and  not  a  standing  rope  ;  but  in 
the  sloop  it  takes  the  place  of  the  forestay.  To  the  topmast — ■ 
4.  The  topmast  shrouds  and  legs.  5.  The  topmast  forestay .  6.  Top- 
mast backstays,  otherwise  known  as  the  preventers,  used  in  large 

A   DICTIONARY    OF   SEA    TERMS.  267 

yachts  which  carry  a  great  press  of  canvas.  To  the  bowsprit — The 
bowsprit  shrouds,  to  prevent  it  from  bending  sideways.  7.  The  bob- 
stay,  to  bowse  it  down,  in  counteraction  to  the  pull  of  the  forestay 
and  topmast  forestay ;  and  8.  The  bobstay  trice. 

Standard. — Standard  knee.  —  1.  In  shipbuilding,  a  knee  or 
bracket  placed  above  the  object  to  which  its  horizontal  arm  is 
bound — i.e.,  in  an  inverted  position. 

2.  Standard. — In  heraldry,  a  large  square  flag  bearing  the 
whole  of  the  achievements  of  the  monarch  or  nobleman,  as  seen 
in  the  Royal  Standard  of  England. 

Starboard.  —  The  right-hand 
side  of  a  vessel. 

Starboard  tack. — A  vessel  is  on 
the  starboard  tack  when  the  wind 
blows  from  the  starboard  or  right- 
hand  side.      "Vessels  on   the  port 

tack    give   way    to    those    on  the      vllkvv^k  \       *     rcrrtroarat 
starboard    tack.       (See    Rule    of 
THE  Road.)     This  may  easily  be 
remembered  from  a  common  expres- 
sion among  sailing  men  generally  :  ^^F^^k   Starboard 
the  phrase  has  a  double  meaning,  Mb8B    Side 
as  will  be  seen  ;   it  reminds  one  at              ^^^PJ^ap^- 
the  same  time  which  is  the  star-          0n  th^starboard  Tack. 
board  side  and  which  is  the  safest 

tack  to  be  on  : — "  When  you  are  on  the  starboard  tack  you  are  on 
the  right  (hand)  tack." 

Starboard  the  helm,  helm  a'starboard. — Put  the  tiller  over  to  the 
right,  or  starboard,  side. 

Starbowlines  (pronounced  "  starbolins  "). — The  old  name  for 
men  on  the  starboard  watch.     (See  Watches.  ) 

Start. — To  move  or  loosen.  Also  to  become  injured  or  to  break. 
Thus  a  plank  which  it  may  be  desired  to  take  out  of  a  vessel  is  said 
to  be  started  when  it  is  loosened.  And  if  it  should  crack  or  break 
through  some  accident,  while   at  sea,  it  is  said   to  have  started. 

Starting  bolt. — A  bolt  used  to  drive  out  other  bolts  from  a  timber,  etc. 

Stave. — To  break  a  hole  into  anything.  Also  to  fend  or  guide 
off  some  one  object  from  another.  Thus  a  vessel  may  be  in  collision 
and  have  her  bows  or  side  stove  in.  Or  she  may  be  fortunate  enough 
to  evade  the  threatened  danger  by  pushing,  or  slaving,  it  off. 

Stays. — Supports.  Strong  ropes,  mostly  of  wire,  supporting 
spars,  and  more  especially  masts.  They  form  part  of  the  stand- 
ing rigging  of  a  vessel.  Stays  running  in  the  direction  of  the 
length  of  the  vessel  are  called  fore-and-aft  stays.  When  they  lead 
across  it  they  become  shrouds,  back-stays,  bowsprit  shrouds,  etc. 
Other  supports  answering  various  purposes  may  also  be  called  stays, 
as  boom  stays,  counter  stays,  stay-pieces,  etc.  (Sec  below.)  Stays 
take  their  names  from  the  spars  they  support  or  from  the  direction  in 

268  A    DICTIONAKY    OF    SEA    TEEMS. 

which  they  run,  as  the  top-mast-stay  supporting  the  topmast ;  the  back- 
stays, running  backward,  etc.  The  stays  of  a  cutter  yacht  are  de- 
scribed under  the  heading  RIGGING.  Those  of  a  large  vessel  are  ac- 
cording to  the  number  of  masts  she  has ;  and  they  may  be  variously 
disposed.  Thus  in  old  ships  the  fore  stay  runs  to  the  end  of  the 
bowsprit ;  the  main  stay  through  a  collar  half-way  up  the  foremast 
to  the  stem  head  ;  and  the  mizzen  stay  to  a  collar  on  the  base  of  tbe 
main-mast.  In  more  modern  vessels  the  fore-stay  extends  only  to 
the  stem  and  the  main  stay  to  a  collar  at  the  base  of  the  foremast ; 
while  in  two-mas  ted  vessels  a  triatic  stay  often  takes  the  place  of 
the  main  stay. 

Boom  stays. — The  support  of  a  boom  to  its  mast.  This  may  be 
either  a  collar  (the  shuffle)  on  the  spider-hoop  to  take  a  goose-neck 
joint  {which  see)  ;  or  it  may  be  a  bolster  upon  which  a  boom  with 
jaws  may  rest. 

Counter  stay. — A  timber  supporting  the  counter  of  a  vessel.  (Sec 
diagram  IV.  under  Frame.) 

Spring  stay. — In  large  vessels,  an  accessory  to  a  principal  stay, 
and  running  nearly  parallel  with  it. 

To  stay  forward  (of  a  mast). — To  rake  or  lean  forward,  the 
result  of  being  pulled  forward  by  stays.  By  raking  masts  is 
understood  to  mean  those  which  lean  slightly  backwards.  To  be 
stayed  forward  is  the  opposite  to  this.     (See  Rake.) 

In  the  working  of  a  ship  there  are  certain  stays  (shifting  back- 
stays) the  positions  of  which  require  altering  every  time  the  vessel 
comes  about  from  one  tack  on  to  another.  (See  Tack.)  And  from 
this  circumstance  a  number  of  expressions  employed  in  seamanship, 
having  reference  to  the  tacking  of  a  ship,  have  been  derived.  They 
are  as  follow  : — 

To  stay  is  to  tack,  or  go  about.  To  be  in  stays,  or  hove  in  stays,  is 
to  be  in  the  act  of  going  about.  To  be  slack  in  stays,  to  be  slow 
or  unhandy  in  coming  about,  as  some  vessels  are.  Or  if  the  vessel 
comes  round  quickly  and  without  trouble,  she  may  be  called  handy, 
or  quick  in  stays. 

To  miss  stays  is  to  fail  in  getting  about ;  the  result  being  that 
the  boat  becomes  "hung  up  in  the  wind,"  as  it  is  called. 
This  is  an  accident  which  may  occasionally  happen  to  very  long 
boats,  especially  when  the  wind  is  light ;  but  it  may  also  be 
the  fault  of  the  helmsman  in  having  put  his  tiller  too  rapidly 
down,  or  in  having  failed  to  get  sufficient  way  on  the  boat 
before  putting  her  round.  When,  therefore,  it  is  desired  to  go  about 
the  tiller  should  be  put  over  steadily — not  slowly,  but  deliberately, 
and,  as  it  were,  to  feel  the  boat  round.  This  is  an  art  which  requires 
a  little  experience,  more  especially  as  boats  vary,  some  coming 
about  much  more  quickly  than  others. 

To  refuse  stays.  — Much  the  same  as  to  miss  stays,  except  that 
some  boats  literally  cannot  be  got  round  at  any  time.  This 
will  hardly  be  the  case  with  a  sailing  vessel,  though  she  may 
occasionally  miss  stays ;   but  with  steam-boats  under  sail,  as  for 

A   DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  269 

instance  with  launches  rigged  for  occasional  sailing,  it  is  frequent 
the  engines  having  to  be  started  to  get  the  boat  about. 

Stay-sails. — Those  which  are  set  on  the  stays  between  the  masts 
of  a  ship,  or  as  head  sails.  They  are  mostly,  therefore,  jib-shaped 
(triangular) ;  though  not  necessarily  so,  for  in  old  ships  they  were 
often  oblong  (or  parallelogrammic,  to  be  more  correct)  in  shape  ;  and 
being  sometimes  roached  head  and  foot,  presented  a  very  curious 
appearance.  Even  in  the  present  day  it  is  not  uncommon  to 
see  them  shaped  as  a  jib  with  the  nose  cut  off,  the  luff  running 
on  the  mast.  This  luff  is  called  the  nock  (under  which  heading 
its  appearance  is  also  illustrated).  The  great  use  of  stay  sails 
is  to  enable  a  vessel  to  sail  full  and  yet  by  the  wind;  i.e., 
with  her  sails  full,  and  yet  close-hauled.  (Sec  Full  AND  By.)  The 
foresail  of  a  cutter  or  yawl,  inasmuch  as  it  runs  on  the  fore  stay, 
may  be  equally  correctly  called  the  forestay  sail,  just  as  the  sail 
more  commonly  known  as  the  jib  topsail  is  actually  the  topmast 
forestay  sail ;  and  besides  these  the  schooner  may  set  staysails  be- 
tween the  fore  and  main  masts.  But  we  often  see,  in  certain  fore- 
and-aft  rigged  coasting  craft,  sails  answering  precisely  the  same 
purpose  as  staysails,  though  unconnected  with  stays.  The  ketch 
type,  for  instance,  sometimes  sets  a  large  triangular  sail  ahead  of 
the  mizzen  mast  (see  figure  under  Ketch)  ;  while  even  a  barge  may 
occasionally  be  seen  with  a  small  one  set  on  her  little  jigger  mast. 

Steady. — To  keep  a  vessel  steady  is  to  keep  her  on  her  course 
without  deviation.  If  a  helmsman  receive  the  order  "  Steady  !"  it 
will  often  mean  that  he  is  to  keep  the  boat  from  yawing  about,  as 
she  may  be  liable  to  do  in  a  heavy  sea. 

Stealer. — In  shipbuilding,  "  a  short  length  of  plank  worked  in 
among  the  other  strakes  to  facilitate  rounding  off  in  parts  of  great; 
curvature. "  (Brande  and  Cox. )  A  strake  is  a  line  of  planking  along 
a  vessel's  side ;  and  one  of  the  planks  which  form  the  strake,  if  short  and 
not  reaching  either  stem  or  stem  post,  may  also  be  called  a  stealer. 
Steam  launch.— (See  Launch.) 

Steer. — To  steer  is  to  guide  a  boat,  whether  under  sail,  steam,  or 
oars.  To  do  this  properly  a  steersman  must  be  acquainted  with  the 
theory  of  the  helm,  and  should  know  the  rule  of  the  road.  (See 
Helm  and  Rule  OP  THE  ROAD. )  No  better  rule  for  steering  could  be 
given  than  that  contained  in  the  following  comparison  of  helmsmen  : 
— "  A  good  helmsman  opposes  in  time  the  tendency  of  the  ship  to 
deviate  from  her  course  by  a  small  motion,  which  he  relaxes  as  soon 
as  the  effect  is  felt,  thus  disturbing  her  sailing  as  little  as  possible. 
A  bad  helmsman  gives  her  too  much  helm,  and  keeps  her  perpetually 
yawing  from  one  side  to  the  other."     (Brande  and  Cox.) 

Steerage  way. — Way  sufficient  to  enable  a  boat  to  be  steered. 
(See  Way.) 

Steerage. — In  a  steamship.  That  part  of  the  vessel  having  the 
poorest  accommodation,  and  occupied  by  the  steerage  passengers  or 
those  paying  the  lowest  fare.     The  word  seems  to  be  derived  from 

270  A   DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEBMS. 

the    circumstance  that    these  passengers  were,    in   earlier  times, 
placed  in  the  after  or  steerage  part  of  the  vessel. 

Steeve. — The  steeve  is  the  angle  a  bowsprit  makes  with  the 
horizontal.  In  very  early  ships  this  member  was  so  lifted  up  as  to 
become  almost  perpendicular  ;  in  each  succeeding  design,  however,  it 
continued  to  be  lowered  until  it  now  almost  approaches  the  horizontal. 

The  bowsprits  of  schooner  yachts  have  often  a  steeve,  and  large 
vessels  nearly  always  ;  but  it  is  rare  in  small  craft,  the  bowsprit  in 
them  usually  lying  along  the  deck. 

Stella  code. — A  code  for  signalling  invented  by  Major  A. 
Stewart  Harrison,  of  which  the  following  will  give  some  idea : — 
"  The  whole  arrangement  is  most  simple,  and  consists  of  a  large 
board  with  a  spot  at  the  top  (the  pennant)  and  four  spots  on  either 
side,  with  convenient  board  space  between  (making  nine  spots  in 
all).  These  are  obliterated  or  brought  into  view  by  a  very  simple 
arrangement  of  slides,  and  the  number  and  position  of  the  spots  on 
the  board  transmit  the  message. "  (Quoted  by  Winn,  "  The  Boating 
Man's  Vade  Mecum.'')  The  Stella  Code  can  be  had  from  the 
publishers— Messrs.  Brown  and  Son,  13,  Drury  Street,  Glasgow — 
and  of  all  chart  sellers. 

Stem. — Stem,  stem  post,  head  post,  or  fore  post. — The  foremost 
timber  of  a  vessel.  The  stem  post  is  united  to  the  keel  inside  by 
the  deadwood,  and  outside  by  the  stem  band ;  and  at  its  head  the 
breast-hook  binds  the  upper  strakes  of  the  vessel  firmly  to  it.  Just 
as  there  is  a  keelson  to  the  keel,  and  a  sternson  to  the  stern,  so  there 
is,  in  large  vessels,  a  sternson  to  the  stem,  which  gives  to  it  an 
additional  support ;  and  the  whole  is  connected  with  the  apron, 
which  also  secures  the  forward  end  of  the  strakes,  thus  rendering  the 
bow,  as  it  needs  to  be,  a  very  powerful  construction.  (See  diagrams 
under  FRAME.) 

Stem  band,  stem  iron,  or  keel  band. — A  band  of  iron  connecting  the 
keel  and  stem  post.  (See  also  under  Keel.  ) 

Stem  head. — The  head  of  the  stem  post. 

To  stern  a  tide  or  current.  To  face  it ; 
or,  in  other  words,  to  meet  it  stem-on. 
Hence  the  meaning  of  the  term  in  every- 
day conversation. 

Step. — A  block  of  wood,  with  a  hole 
or  recess  in  it,  to  receive  the  heel  of  a 
mast.  It  is  placed  on  the  keelson  of  a 
vessel.     Its  object  is  not  only  to  take  Mast  Step 

the  heel  of  the  mast,  but  to  distribute 

its  weight  over  the  keelson  as  much  as  possible  ;  and  in  large  vessels, 
where  the  masts  are  very  heavy,  the  step  stands  upon  an  iron  plate. 

Stern. — The  after  part  of  a  vessel. 

Stern  board. — 1.  Sometimes  a  progress  backwards,  the  result  of 
an  accident,  and  occasionally  dangerous  to  small  craft.  (See  Stern- 
way,  below.) 



Stern  Board. 

2.  The  term  is  also  used  as  follows  : — In  making  way  against  the 
wind  a  sailing  vessel  is  bound  to  proceed  in  a  zig-zag  course  ;  the  dis- 
tance she  travels  between  each  turn  being  called  a  board.  (See  Tack.  ) 
There  are  occasions — as,  for  in- 
stance,when  navigating  a  channel 
— when  she  may  go  a  long  distance 
on  one  board  ;  but,  having  to  turn 
at  last  and  finding  the  wind  dead 
in  her  teeth,  will  be  obliged,  so 
as  to  gain  the  other  side  of  the 
channel  once  more,  to  travel  in 
a  somewhat  backward  direction, 
thereby  losing  ground;  and  her 
progress  in  this  backward  direc- 
tion is  therefore  called  a  stern 
board.  In  the  diagram  the  vessel 
is  endeavouring  to  make  a  course 
due  north  with  the  wind  north- 
west, and  she  sails  within  six 
{mints  (in  explanation  of  which 
ast  term  see  under  Sailing).  She 
therefore  proceeds  forwards  in  a 
direction  N.N.E.  (i.e.  6  points 
from  the  wind),  until  she  comes 
so  near  shore  as  to  be  obliged  to 
turn,  when  her  next  course  must  be  in  a  direction  W.S.W.  (6  points 
from  the  wind),  which  is  actually  going  backwards,  or,  in  other  words, 
she  then  makes  a  "stern  board." 

Stern  fast. — A  rope  holding  a  vessel  by  the  stern,  just  as  a 
head  fast  is  one  holding  her  by  the  head. 

Stern  post. — The  post  or  stanchion  at  the  stern  of  a  vessel.  It  is 
kept  in  position  by  the  transom,  and  on  it  is  hung  the  rudder.  This 
member,  like  the  keel  with  its  keelson,  and  the  stem  with  its  stem- 
son,  is  further  strengthened,  in  large  vessels,  by  an  inside  timber 
called  the  stemson.     (See  diagram  under  Frame.) 

Stern  sheets,  in  an  open  boat,  are  the  boards  covering  the  floor 
space  of  the  stern,  just  as  the  head-sheets  cover  the  fore  part. 
These  boards  are  sometimes  kept  together  by  under  pieces  and  lifted 
as  one.  Where  cost  is  no  object  they  are  made  in  the  form  of 
gratings.     (See  diagram  under  Sheet.) 

Stern-way. — The  way  (distance)  a  vessel  makes  if  carried  stern 
first,  as  in  a  calm  or  in  a  current,  or  having  missed  stays.  But 
stern-way  is  not  lec-w&y  :  if  a  vessel  sailing  across  the  run  of  the 
tide  be  carried  down  on  it  ever  so  far,  she  makes  considerable 
lee-way,  but  no  stem-way. 

Stevedore. — A  man  whose  business  it  is  to  undertake  the 
stowage  of  cargo  in  ships. 

Stiff. — Stiffness  is  the  quality  of  stability  possessed  by  a  boat,  or, 
in  other  words,   the  capability  of  a  boat  under  sail  to  keep  the 




upright  or  to  return  to  it  when  heeled  over.  (See  STABILITY.)  It 
is  an  exceedingly  necessary  quality  in  any  vessel,  for  upon  it  depends 
the  safety  of  those  who  venture  in  her.  Seamen  have  various  ways 
of  expressing  their  admiration  of  a  stiff  craft,  e.g.,  "  as  stiff  as  a 
house,"  "as  stiff  as  a  church,"  etc. 

Stirrups. — In  square  rig,  short  ropes  hanging  from  the  yards  of 
a  square  sail  and  holding  the  horse.     (See  HORSE. ) 

Stock. — 1.  Of  a  rudder,  the  upper  part,  upon  the  head  of 
which  the  tiller  is  set.  (See  Rudder.)  2.  Of  a  howsprit,  that 
part  at  the  foot  of  it  which  is  held  hy  the  bitts.     (See  Bowsprit.) 

Stomach-piece. — Another  name  for  the  apron  (which  see). 

Stools, — The  channel  plates  of  the  hackstays.     (See  CHANNELS.) 

Stop. — A  short  rope  used  to  confine  a  sail  when  furled  or  slopped. 
{See  Ties.)  It  may  also  be  a  small  projection,  as  on  a  mast  or  any 
other  spar,  to  prevent  anything  from  slipping  down. 

To  stop. — To  tie  anything  up  temporarily,  as  : — 

To  stop  a  sail. — To  tie  it  up  preparatory  to  setting  it.  Sails 
which  are  set  flying,  such  as  jibs, 
a,re  often  tied  up  with  a  thin  yarn 
before  hoisting ;  and  when  hal- 
yards, outhauls,  etc.,  are  all  be- 
layed a  sharp  pull  on  the  sheets 
will  snap  the  yarn  and  the  sail 
unfolds  itself.  Sometimes  the 
sail  is  stopped  and  hoisted,  but 
not  unstopped  until  required. 

To  stop  a  flag. — To  tie  it  up.  ./ aj"L*t 
Sometimes  this  is  done  to  make  '' 
it  resemble  a  wheft  for  use  in 
signalling  (as  in  the  fig.)  ;  and 
very  generally  a  flag  sent  up  on 
a  tall  mast  is  stopped  before 
hoisting,  to  prevent  its  becoming 
entangled  in  the  rigging  as  it  ascends. 

Stopper. — Stoppering  is  to  check  or  hold  fast  any  rope. 

Stopper  knot. — A  knot  made  at  the  end  of  a  sheet  or  any  other 
rope  to  prevent  it  from  flying  out  of  its  lead.  Thus  the  jib  and 
fore-sail  sheets  of  a  small  yacht,  which  ran  aft  through  fair  leads, 
are  usually  stoppered  with  figure-of-8  knots.     (See  Knots.) 

Storm. — A  disturbance  of  the  atmosphere.  Among  seafaring 
men  the  term  has  but  little  reference  to  wind,  but  is  generally 
understood  to  mean  rain  or  thunder  and  lightning. 

Storm  sails. — Those  for  use  in  bad  weather.  Such,  on  a  yacht, 
are  the  storm-jib,  the  trysail,  etc. 

Storm  signal. — A  signal,  consisting  of  a  cone,  made  at  the  various 
stations  of  the  Meteorological  Office  in  forecast  of  weather  to  be 
expected.     (See  Signals.) 

Storm  wave.  — A  wave  which  comes  rolling  in  without  wind.  It 
is  said  to  mark  the  recent  occurrence  of  a  gale  in  some  distant  locality. 

A    DICTIONAKY    OF    SEA    TEKMS.  273 

Stove. — {See  Stave.) — A  vessel  is  stove  in  when  she  has  heen 
bilged  or  broken  into. 

Stow. — Stowage  is  the  room  in  a  vessel  for  cargo,  and  to  stow 
the  cargo  is  to  pack  it  so  that  it  will  not  shift  as  she  rolls. 

To  stow  away  anything  is  to  put  it  in  a  safe  place  for  future  use. 

To  stow  away  a  boat  is  the  same  as  to  trim  her  down  after  a  sail ; 
that  is,  to  take  in  her  sails,  furl  them,  or  stow  them  away,  and  to 
do  all  that  will  leave  her  in  a  condition  ready  to  be  taken  out  again 
at  short  notice. 

Stow-boat  fishing,  commonly  called  stow-boating .  — A  method  of 
taking  sprats  in  large  quantities  very  much  practised  in  the  estuary 
of  the  Thames  and  along  the  East  Coast.  The  fish  thus  taken  are 
sold  at  prices  varying,  according  to  demand,  from  five  or  six  shillings 
to  as  low  as  4£d.  per  bushel,  the  smaller  sums  being  paid  for  those 
sold  as  manure,  for  which  they  were  at  one  time  largely  used, 
especially  for  hops,  and  are  still,  to  a  certain  extent.  The  stow- 
boat  net  goes  with  two  beams,  which  are  kept  square  by  anchors. 
To  these  a  huge  bag  net  is  fixed,  the  mesh  of  which  is  extremely 
small.  The  fishermen  say  they  have  sometimes  taken  as  many  as 
300  bushels  of  sprats  in  a  tide. 

Strain  bands.— Extra  bands  of  canvas,  usually  only  seen  on 
large  square  sails,  to  give  the  same  support  to  the  bunt  of  the  sail  as 
the  bolt-ropes  do  to  the  leeches  i 

Strake  (often  pronounced  "  streak, "  from  which,  indeed,  it  is 
not  impossible  that  the  name  is  derived). — A  strake  is  a  line  of 
planking  extending  the  length  of  a  vessel.  It  is  needless  to  say  that 
a  single  plank  cannot  extend  the  entire  length  of  a  vessel,  and 
that  a  continuous  line  of  planks  must,  therefore,  be  employed  to 
effect  this  :  it  is  this  line  of  several  planks  which  forms  one  strake. 
Strakes  are  variously  named  according  to  their  position,  as,  for 
instance — 

Garboard  strakes. — The  lowest  strakes  of  a  vessel,  being  on  the 
outside,  next  the  keel.  In  small  boats,  the  keel  and  garboard 
strakes  are  sometimes  of  one  piece.     {See  Framk.) 

Limber  strakes. — The  lowest  strakes  on  the  inside,  running, 
therefore,  beneath  the  limbers. 

Sheer  strakes.  — Those  immediately  below  the  sheer ;  they  are  of 
thick  planking. 

Thick  strakes  are  placed  at  different  heights  on  the  sides. 

Black  strakes  run  along  the  flat  sides  of  the  vessel,  outside. 

Wash  strake. — The  name  sometimes  given  to  a  weather  board 
{which  see). 

The  uppermost  strake  of  a  vessel  is  stronger  than  the  rest,  and  is 
called  the  wale.     In  an  open  boat  it  is  the  saxboard. 

In  clinker-built  boats  the  strakes  overlap  ;  in  carvel,  they  meet  in 
a  smooth  join.  There  is  not  much  to  choose  between  the  two  styles 
of  building,  each  having  its  own  advantages  in  its  proper  place  ;  but 
with  many  amateurs  carvel  is  the  more  popular,  and  instances  are 
not  altogether  unique  in  which  a  person  having  a  clinker-built  boat 




for  sale  has  filled  in  the  over-lapping  of  the  strakes  so  as  to  imitate 
carvel — a  process  called  doubling.  Doubling  is  useful  enough  in 
renovating  old  boats,  but  the  beginner  in  boat-buying  will  do  well 
to  assure  himself  that  a  doubled  boat  is  not  being  palmed  off  on  him 
as  a  carvel-built  one. 

Strand  (of  a  rope). — Threads  of  yarn  twisted  into  a  loose  string. 
Strands  compose  ropes,  just  as  the  yarns  compose  strands.  Three 
strands  form  a  rope,  though  more  may  be  employed. 

Stranded.—!.  (Of  a  ship.)  A'ground.  Said  of  a  vessel  when  she 
has  been  left  by  the  tide.  2.  (Of  a  rope).  When  one  or  more 
strands  are  broken,  or  worn  through. 

Strap. — -An  iron  bar,  forming  a  break  to  any  machine  in  work, 
as  a  capstan.  The  grommet  or  band  round  a  block,  whether  of  rope 
or  iron,  is  sometimes  called  the  strap,  but  more  often  the  strop. 

Stratus. — A  low  cloud  usually  hanging  in  horizontal  bands  over 
the  horizon. 

Cirro  stratus,  a  cloud  of  the  same  description  as  the  above,  but 
lying  higher.     (See  also  ClRRUS.) 

Stream. — The  most  rapid  part  of  a  tide  or  current. 

Stream  anchor. — An  anchor  carried  by  large  vessels,  less  than  the 
bowers,  but  more  powerful  than 
hedges.  It  evidently  derives  its 
name  from  the  fact  that  it  is 
sufficient  to  hold  the  ship  against 
the  run  of  a  stream  without  the 
necessity  of  dropping  the  bower 

Streamer.— A  very  long  and 
narrow  flag. 

Stress. — Hard  pressure.  The 
word  is  an  abbreviation  of  "  dis- 
tress, "  and  from  this  a  vessel  may 
besaid  to  put  intoaharbour  under 
stress  of  weather. 

Stretch. — Another  name  for 
a  board,  in  tacking.   (See  Tack.) 

To  stretch. — To  reach ;  or,  in 
other  words,  to  sail  by  the  wind — 
i.e.,  with  the  wind  ahead  of  the 
beam,  but  it  may  also  mean  to 
sail  thus  under  a  great  crowd  or 
stretch  of  canvas. 

Stretcher  (in  a  row  boat). — 
The  movable  piece  of  board,  or 
it  may  be  only  a  stick,  against 
which  a  rower  presses  his  feet. 
These  are  of  various  forms,  ac- 
cording to  the  class   of  boat   in  Stretchers  and  Guides. 

A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  275 

-which  they  occur.  No.  1,  in  the  figures,  shows  a  simple  and  very 
common  method  employed  in  open  boats  round  the  coast.  No.  2  is 
a,  style  often  found  in  Thames  skiffs,  up-river.  No.  3  is  the  practice 
followed  in  best  boats  (racing  out-riggers)  :  the  sculler  slips  his 
feet,  sometimes  without  taking  off  his  shoes,  into  the  large  boots 
(which  are  a  fixture),  and  laces  them  loosely  up.  But  the  beginner 
may  sometimes  find  himself  in  a  rough  boat  without  stretchers.  In 
such  a  case  a  useful  substitute  may  be  fashioned  by  taking  a  clove- 
hitch  with  the  painter,  at  the  right  distance,  round  almost  any  piece 
of  wood  or  iron  (No.  4  in  the  fig.).  Or  if  nothing  can  be  found, 
the  painter  itself  may  do  duty  by  simply  bringing  it  under  and 
taking  a  clove-hitch  with  it  round  the  thwart,  allowing,  of  course, 
sufficient  length  in  the  bight  for  the  legs  to  get  a  purchase  (No.  5). 

Stretcher  guides. — The  notches,  grooves,  or  any  other  agents,  by 
■which  a  stretcher  is  held  in  place.  These  guides  are  so  designed 
that  the  rower  may  move  the  stretcher  forward  or  back  as  required. 
Their  form  wall  be  understood  by  reference  to  the  figures. 

Strike. — To  take  down.  Spoken  of  a  mast  or  sail,  as  to  strike 
the  topmast — i.e.,  to  lower  it. 

To  strike  the  flag,  also  to  lower  it,  but  permanently ;  not  simply 
to  lower  and  re-hoist  as  in  saluting  : — that  is  dipping. 

To  strike  sail. — The  term  is  used  by  St.  Luke,  "and  fearing  lest 
they  should  fall  into  the  quicksands  they  stroke  sail,  and  so  were 
driven''  (Acts,  xxvii.  17).  Thus  they  "  scudded  " before  the  wind 
under  bare  poles. 

String. — Sometimes  the  highest  strake  within  the  ship.  (See 

Stringers.  —  Strengthening  timbers  running  along  the  inside 
of  a  boat  at  various  distances  up  the  sides.  Their  true  office 
is  to  assist  in  bracing  the  heads  (ribs)  together.  The  extra  stout 
stringer  upon  which  the  thwarts  (seats)  of  an  open  boat  are  placed  is 
called  the  wiring.     (See  diagrams  under  FRAME.) 

Strip. — To  dismantle. 

Stripped  to  the  girt  line. — An  expression  signifying  that  a  vessel 
has  been  completely  stripped. 

Strip  to  the  buff. — Among  rowing  men  and  athletes,  to  completely 
undress  down  to  the  waist.  Professional  scullers  usually  "  strip  to' 
the  buff  "  for  their  matches  during  hot  weather. 

Stroke. —  In  rowing,  the  force  used  in  propelling  a  boat 
through  the  water  is  called  the  stroke  :  and  this  action  may  be 
divided  into  two  motions,  1 .  The  stroke  proper,  and  2,  the  recovery  ; 
the  first  being  the  pulling  of  the  oar  through  the  water,  and  the 
second  the  thrusting  of  the  arms  forward  in  preparation  for  another 

Stroke. — In  a  boat,  the  sternmost  rower,  and  he  who  sets  the  stroke 
for  all  the  others,  is  called  the  stroke.     In  an  eight-oared  boat  he  is" 
No.  8,  but  is  never  spoken  of  as  such,  his  title  being  "  Stroke,"  and 
•as  such  he  is  always  addressed.     So,  likewise,  the  headmost  rower,' 

T   2 



though  his  position  is  No.  1,  is  always  known  as  "bow";  butrall 
the  others  answer  to  their  numbers  only.  Thus  the  composition  of 
an  eight-oar  is  as  follows  : — Bow  (1),  2,  3,  4,  5,  6,  7,  Stroke  (8), 
Coxswain.  - 

Stroke  side. — The  side  upon  which  the  stroke  man  puts  out  hi& 
oar;  that  is,  on  his  right-hand  side.  The  terms  starboard  and  port 
are  never  used  in  rowing  ;  the  bow-side  and  stroke-side  being  spoken 
of  instead.  The  stroke  side  is,  therefore,  the  port  side.  {See 
figure  under  Bow.) 

Strong  breeze. — A  term  signifying  a  certain  measure  of  strength 
of  wind.     (See  under  WINDS.) 

Strop.— An  iron  or  rope  band  or  grommet.  Sometimes  it  is  a 
rope  for  hitching  a  tackle  to,  but  usually  we  hear  of  the  strop  of  a 
block,  the  band  round  the  shell  of  the  block  which  holds  the  entire 
thing  together. 

Stud.— A  short  bar  through  the  link  in  a  stud-link  chain,  which 
is  a  species  of  chain  much  used  by  large  vessels  because  of  its  great 
superiority  of  strength  over  other  kinds  of  chain.  (See  figure  under 

Studsail,  or  ringtail 
(pronounced  "studs'l, " 
evidently  only  an  altera- 
tion of  "stuns'l,"  itself 
an  abbreviation  of  stud- 
ding sail).  —  A  narrow 
sail  like  the  studding 
sail,  run  out  beyond  the 
leech  of  the  mainsail  of  a 
racing  cutter.  (See  fig.) 
It  forms  part  of  thepress 
canvas  (which  see)  of  a 
large  yacht,  but  is  not 
often  employed. 

Studding  -  sails.  — 
"  In  square  rig,  narrow 
supplementary  sails  run 
out  on  small  booms  be- 
yond the  leeches  of  the  principal  square  sails.  Although  ^not  of 
great  power  from  their  size,  they  exert  considerable  force  on  the 
ship's  movements  from  the  leverage  which  their  distance  from  the 
mast,  as  centre,  gives  them."     (Brande  and  Cox.)     (See  fig.) 

Sugg. — To  rock  heavily  on  a  bank  or  reef. 

Suit  (of  sails). — A  set  of  sails.  Thus  a  yacht  may  have  several 
suits,  as  a  suit  of  racing  canvas,  of  cruising,  or  of  storm  sails. 

Supercargo. — A  person  superintending  transactions  relating  to 
a  vessel's  cargo. 

Surf. — The  breaking  of  the  sea  into  short  quick  waves  over 
shallow  places. 

Water  , 

x  Stud$a/ti 
Studding-sails  and  Studsail. 

A    DICTIONABY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  277 

Surge. — The  swell  of  the  sea. 

To  surge  a  rope. — To  slacken  it  suddenly,  where  it  goes  round  a 
pin,  windlass,  etc. 

Surge  hoi — Notice  given  that  a  rope  is  about  to  he  surged. 

Sutiles. — Ancient  cobles  made  of  strong  staves  sewed  together 
and  covered  with  leather  or  skin.     (See  Coracle.) 

Swab.— A  mop. 

Swagg. — Synonymous  with  sag — i.e.,  to  sink  down  by  its  own 
weight.  (See  Sag.)  The  sag  of  a  rope  is  the  bellying  or  drop  when 
it  is  extended. 

Swallow. — The  score  in  a  block  in  which  the  sheave  runs.  (See 

Swalloio-tailed. — The  shape  of  the  flag  called  the  burgee  (which 
see),  though  not  that  flown  by  the  ordinary  members  of  a  yacht- 
club.     It  ends  in  two  tails. 

Swamp. — To  be  swamped  is  to  be  filled  with  water ;  but  not 
necessarily  to  sink. 

Swap. — A  mop.     The  same  as  a  swab.     Also  to  exchange. 

Swash,  (often  pronounced  "  swatch  "). — A  shoal  in  a  tideway, 
usually  found  at  the  mouth  of  a  river. 

Swash  way. — A  channel  across  a  swash  or  among  several  shoals. 
It  is  the  result  of  a  peculiar  set  of  the  tide,  which  also  keeps  it  from 
silting  up.  There  is  an  important  swash  way  between  the  Goodwin 
Sands.  Another  runs  round  the  Nore  Sand  in  the  estuary  of  the 
Thames,  and  is  sufficiently  deep  to  admit  of  the  largest  vessels  enter- 
ing by  it  into  the  river  Medway,  and  on  the  opposite  shore  again 
there  is  a  permanent  swash  way  not  less  than  two  miles  in  length, 
navigable  for  fishing  craft,  even  at  the  lowest  tides,  almost  up  to 
the  town  of  Leigh.  A  swash  way  is  often  called  merely  a  swash  or 
swatch,  as  the  "  Leigh  swash  "  just  mentioned. 

Swathe. — The  entire  length  of  a  sea  wave. 

Sway. — To  hoist.  To  sway  a  yard  or  any  other  spar  is  to  haul 
it  up. 

Sweat. — To  siveat  up. — To  haul  up  tight,  or  to  swig  upon,  as 
halyards  are  swigged  upon  or  "  sweated  up. "     (See  Swig.  ) 

Sweater. — A  thick  jersey  or  vest  used  by  rowing  men  when  in 
training.  Being  very  warm  it  conduces  to  perspiration  or  sweat ; 
and  it  is  by  this  means  that  men  get  down  superfluous  fat. 

Sweep. — Sweeps  are  very  long  and  heavy  oars,  for  occasional  use 
on  board  a  sailing  boat,  as,  for  instance,  to  get  her  round  should  she 
"  miss  stays, "  or  to  get  her  along  in  a  calm.  River  lighters  are 
mostly  steered  by  sweeps,  as  they  are  carried  up  or  down  on  the 
tide  ;  and  this  is  called  sweeping  " — hence,  to  sweep  up  or  down  a 
river.  Until  comparatively  recent  years,  even  tolerably  large 
sailing  vessels,  such  as  brigs  and  schooners,  carried  sweeps,  more 
especially,  it  would  appear,  in  case  of  being  chased  by  an  enemy. 
Thus  the  combined  oars  and  sails  of  the  ancients  may  be  said  to 

278  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

have  survived  almost  to  our  own  day.  But  the  introduction  of 
steam  has  completely  altered  the  entire  system  of  the  sea.  (For  the 
names  of  the  various  parts  of  a  sweep  see  Oar.) 

The  sweep  of  the  tiller. — The  circle  it  describes  when  brought 
from  one  side  of  a  vessel  to  the  other. 

To  sweep  for  anything  lost  at  the  bottom  of  the  water,  is  to  drag 
for  it  with  a  rope.  Usually  two  boats  are  employed  in  doing  this, 
each  taking  one  end  of  the  rope,  and  a  weight  being  attached  to  it 
about  midway  to  sink  it. 

Swell.— An  undulating  motion  of  water,  at  sea  always  felt  after 
a  gale.  A  swell  must  be  distinguished  from  a  wash,  as  from  a- 
passing  steam  vessel.     (See  Ground  Swell  and  Wash.) 

Swell  in,  or  take  up. — To  become  water-tight.  Spoken  of  the 
planks  of  a  boat  which  will  let  in  the  water  when  she  has  been  laid 
up  for  any  length  of  time,  but  which  will,  when  she  is  returned  to 
the  water,  swell  in  after  a  few  days. 

Swift. — To  tighten  up,  as  to  "  swift  in  the  shrouds." 
To  swift  a  vessel. — 1.  To  ground  her  preparatory  to  careening  her 
for  examination.    2.  The  art  of  careening  her  over.    Either  of  these, 
or  the  whole  operation,  appears  to  answer  to  the  term  swifting. 

To  swift  a  ship  by  the  hull  appears  to  be  something  akin  to  the 
ancient  J 'rapping  "  (which  see).  It  consists  in  passing  cables  round 
the  hull.  Smyth  describes  this  as  the  "  undergirdling  "  spoken  of  by 
St.  Paul,  while  Falconer  and  others  place  that  under  frapping. 

Swifters. — Extra  stays,  usually  forward  of  those  which  they 
assist,  as  the  backstay  fore  swifters  in  a  big  ship.  Certain  ships 
are  found  to  require  an  extra  pair  of  shrouds,  set  forward  of  the 
usual  ones,  and  these  are  called  swifters. 

Swig. — To  give  the  final  pull  on  a  purchase.  Thus  halyards, 
when  the  sails  have  been  hauled  up,  are  swigged  upon  by  men  laying 
all  their  weight  upon  them  in  sudden  jerks  and  thus  getting  them  a 
little  tighter.  This  is  also  called  sweating  them  up  :  it  is  always- 
done  in  yachts.  It  is  important  to  the  beginner  to  know  that  the 
halyard  of  a  lug-sail  should  not  be  swigged  upon  after  the  tack  of 
the  sail  has  been  drawn  down. 

Swing. — Sometimes  this  has  the  same  meaning  as  to  sway  ;  as, 
for  instance,  to  "swing  a  yard,"  which  is  the  same  as  to  "sway" 
or  hoist  it. 

Swing  on  the  tide. — A  vessel  at  anchor  stoings  when  she  changes 
her  position  at  the  turn  of  the  tide. 

Stoing  (in  rowing  parlance). — The  swing  of  a  crew  is  the  motion 
resulting  from  the  long,  steady  stroke-and-recovery  of  all  the 
rowers  together  in  good  time.  It  is  thought  that  nothing  tends 
to  increase  and  retain  the  speed  of  a  boat  so  much  as  a  good 
swing.  A  jerky  stroke  destroys  the  swing,  and  consequently 
reduces  the  speed. 

Swinging  boom. — "  The  spar  which  stretches  the  foot  of  a  lower 
studding  sail ;  in  large  ships  they  have  goosenecks  in  one  end,  which 

A    DICTIONAKY    OF    SEA    TE11MS. 


liook  to  the  foremost  part  of  the 
forechains  to  iron  strops  fitted  for 
the  purpose. "     ( S  myth . ) 

Swivel. — An  instrument  con- 
sisting of  a  pin  revolving  in  a  link. 
Swivels  are  fitted  between  lengths 
of  chain  to  prevent  the  chain  from 
kinking.  They  are  used  in  cables 
to  connect  two  or  more  anchors 
with  the  main  cable  in  the  manner 
described  under  Hawse.  They 
have  also  a  number  of  uses  on 
shipboard.     (See  fig.) 

Stoivel-rowlocks.  — Those  working 
in  a  swivel.     (See  tig.) 

Syren. — The  name  sometimes 
given  to  a  steam-boat's  fog  horn.  . 


Tab  (of  a  sail). — The  tab  or  tabbing  is  a  broad  piece  of  hemming 
on  the  edge  of  the  sail,  to  strengthen  it  where  bolt-hooks  are 
situated.     (See  diagrams  under  Sail.) 

Tabernacle. — A  housing  or  case  on  the  deck  of  such  vessels  as 
have  lowering  masts.  They  are  to  be  seen  in  barges,  and  occa- 
sionally in  river  yachts ;  and  have  sometimes  been  employed  to 
lengthen  a  mast  by  stepping  it  on  deck  instead  of  on  the  kelson. 
(See  diagrams  under  Mast.) 

Tack,  stay  in  stays,  wind,  go  abont,  beat,  beat  to 
windward,  or  work  to  windward.. — All  these  terms  are  to  a 
certain  extent  synonymous ;  but  under  the  term  tack  is  included 
several  meanings. 

To  tack  (in  sailing)  is  to  perform  the  evolution  called  "  Tacking  " 
(See  below). 

The  tack  of  a  sail  is  the  forward  lower  corner ;  also  called  the 
weather-clew.     (See  under  Sail  and  Clew.) 

A  tack  is  also  a  small  rope  by  which  this  same  weather  clew  is 
held  down.  On  a  balance  lug  sail  it  is  fitted  to  the  boom  some  way 
aft  of  the  foremost  end  ;  in  other  cases  it  may  be  attached  to  the  tack 
of  the  sail  itself. 

Tack  purchase  or  gun  tackle  purchase. — The  tackle  applied  to  the 
tack  of  a  fore-and-aft  mainsail. 

Tack  pins  or jack  pins. — Belaying  pins  in  &fife  rail,  etc.     (See  PlN.) 

Tack  trice  or  tack  tricing  line. — The  rope  which  trices  up  the  tack 
of  a  sail. 

To  tack  (in  sailing)  is  to  change  the  course  of  a  vessel  from  one 
direction,  or  tack,  to  another,  by  bringing  her  head  to  the  wind  and 
letting  the  wind  fill  her  sails  on  the  other  side  ;  the  object  being  to 
make  progress  against  the  wind.  It  follows,  then,  that  to  tack  her 
must  be  to  turn  her  round,  or,  in  other  words,  to  go  about:    and  as 

280  A   DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

this  must  be  done  by  bringing  her  head  to  wind,  the  operation  is 
also  very  often  called  winding.  To  perform  this,  in  large  vessels, 
it  is  necessary  to  alter  various  stays,  and  hence,  as  the  ship  comes 
about,  she  may  just  as  correctly  be  said  to  be  staying,  or  in  stays, 
while,  if  she  fall  to  come  round,  she  will  be  said  to  have  missed 
stays.  If  a  vessel  miss  stays,  and  cannot  be  east  one  way  or 
the  other,  she  is  said  to  be  in  irons,  or  hung  up  in  the  wind. 
To  go  about,  tack,  wind,  stay,  or  be  in  stays,  are,  therefore, 
terms  all  signifying  the  same  act  of  bringing  a  vessel  from  one 
tack  to  another,  head  to  wind,  which  is  the  direct  opposite  to 
wearing  her.  (See  WEAR.)  A  vessel,  then,  is  said  to  be  tacking 
when  she  keeps  changing  her  course  from  one  tack  to  the  other  ; 
and  the  distance  she  makes  each  time  she  stands  on  one  tack  (that 
is  each  time  she  continues  in  a  straight  line  without  coming  about) 
is  called  a  board  or  stretch.  This  she  will  only  do  when  the  wind 
is  against  her;  and,  therefore,  if  tacking,  it  follows  that  she  must 
be  beating  against  the  wind,  or,  in  other  words,  beating  to  wind- 
ward.  And  as  this  is  a  performance  often  attended  with  difficulty, 
and  always  in  a  manner  entailing  a  good  deal  of  work  on  board,  it 
is,  as  often  as  not,  called  working  to  windward  or  pegging  to  wind- 
ward. To  beat  or  work  to  windward,  or  to  beat  up  against  the 
wind,  are,  then,  practically  the  same  as  tacking.  Now,  there  can 
be  but  two  tacks  (as  there  are  but  two  sides  to  a  vessel,  viz.,  the 
starboard  or  right-hand  and  the  port  or  left  hand),  called  Starboard- 
tack  or  Port-tack  according  to  the  side  from  which  the  wind  blows. 
(See  Starboard  Tack  and  Port  Tack.)  It  is,  therefore,  upon 
these  tacks  that  the  Rules  of  the  Road  are  founded,  and  with 
which  every  person  intending  to  take  up  boat-sailing  should 
become  familiar. 

A  boat  when  tacking  will  not  bear  anything  like  the  same  press 
of  canvas  as  when  sailing  large.  It  is  necessary,  therefore,  in  a 
stiff  breeze,  before  coming  round  to  tack,  to  shorten  sail. 

Tackle  (Dutch  takel ;  and  pronounced  by  us  "  tay-kle  "). — A 
purchase  formed  by  the  combination  of  a  rope  with  two  or  more 

The  various  parts  of  a  tackle  are  as  follow  : — The  rope  is  termed 
the  fall ;  the  pulley  wheels  are  called  sheaves ;  and  the  case  which 
contains  these  the  block.  When  a  tackle  is  in  use  one  end  of  the 
fall  (rope)  is  made  fast  and  called  the  standing  end ;  the  other  is 
hauled  upon  and  called  the  running  end ;  but  in  every -day  conver- 
sation that  part  of  the  rope  which  is  hauled  upon  is  often  called  the 
fall.  Where  a  tackle  is  applied  to  a  halyard  (which  is  usually  the 
case),  that  part  of  the  rope  which  hangs  between  the  blocks  is  called 
the  pendant,  and  the  part  hauled  upon  the  fall.  (See  under  Pendant.  ) 

A  simple  tackle  consists  of  one  or  more  pulleys  with  a  single  rope. 
The  chief  simple  tackles  are  : — 

The  whip. — A  purchase  consisting  of  only  a  single  pulley,  and 
therefore  not,  properly  speaking,  a  tackle  ;  but  when  whip  is  placed 
upon  whip  then  it  becomes  a  true  one.     (See  Whip  upon  Whip.) 

A   DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  281 

Gun  tackle. — "  A  system  of  pulleys  consisting  of  two  single  blocks, 
one  movable,  the  other  fixed,  the  standing  end  of  the  fall  being  made 
fast  to  the  movable  block.     It  increases  the  power  three-fold." 

Gun  tackle. — "  A  system  of  pulleys  consisting  of  a  double  and 
triple  block,  the  standing  end  of  the  fall  being  made  fast  to  the 
double  block,  which  is  movable.     It  increases  the  power  five-fold." 

But  besides  these  there  are  many  combinations  in  use,  as  the  jigger 
tackle,  which  is  one  with  a  movable  tail-block  ;  and  luff  tackle,  used 
on  various  occasions  to  assist  other  tackles,  and  on  ships  to  "  suc- 
cour "  the  tackles  attached  to  the  tacks  of  square  sails,  and  others. 

Tackle  upon  tackle,  or  a  combination  of  tackles,  is  the  application 
of  a  simple  tackle  to  the  running  end  of  another  as  often  as  neces- 
sary, the  result  of  their  combined  actions  being  found  by  multi- 
plying together  the  values  of  the  several  simple  tackles. 

Overhauling  a  tackle  is  separating  the  blocks  after  they  have  been 
fleeted ;  that  is,  brought  close  together,  and  their  action  thereby 
rendered  void. 

Taffrail,  or  taffarel.— The  stern-  * " 
most  rail  of  a  vessel ;  that  is,  the  rail 
round  the  stern.    Hence  the  sternmost 
part,  or  rim,  of  the  vessel  is  often  under- 
stood when  the  taffrail  is  spoken  of. 

Tail. — Tail  block. — A  block  having  Taffrail. 

a  rope  strop  (band)  which  is  extended 

into  a  "  tail  "  so  that  the  block  may  be  tied  on  to  anything.  It  is 
sometimes  called  a.  jigger-block.  One  leg  of  the  tail  is  usually  longe* 
than  the  other. 

Tail  on. — 1.  To  attach  ;  as  to  clap  on  a  rope  to  some  other.  2.  A 
ship  aground  by  the  stern  is  said  to  be  tail  on. 

Tail  up  or  down. — Spoken  of  a  ship  at  anchor,  and  describing  the 
direction  in  which  she  lies.  Thus  if  she  be  at  anchor  in  a  river  and 
the  tide  be  rising  she  will  lie  tail  up  because  her  stern,  or  "tail," 
will  point  up. 

Take. — Take  charge. — A  boat  is  said  to  take  charge  when  she 
suddenly  runs  up  into  the  wind,  or  can  no  longer  be  kept  from 
doing  so.     The  term  is  much  used. 

Take  in  sail. — To  reduce  sail,  either  by  reefing  or  by  taking 
some  sail  altogether  off.  The  latter  meaning  is  more  generally 
understood  by  the  term. 

Take  up,  or  swell  in. — When  a  boat  has  been  laid  up  for  any 
length  of  time  she  may,  when  first  put  into  the  water,  be  leaky, 
if  she  does  not  nearly  sink.  This  will  be  the  result  of  her  planks 
having  shrunk  ;  but  in  time  they  will  swell  in  or  take  up,  as  is 
sometimes  said,  and  she  will  become  watertight. 

Taking  off  tides. — Lessening  tides :  i.e. ,  the  tides  as  they  occur  after 
full  and  new  moon.    (See  Making  and  Lagging  of  the  Tides.) 

Tallant.— "  The  upper  hance  or  break  of  the  rudder  abaft." 

282  A    DICTIONAKY    OF    SEA    TEKMS. 

Tally. — A  word  properly  used  in  commerce,  and  very  generally 
at  sea.  To  agree  with  the  account  of  another  person,  on  comparison 
with  one's  own  (generally  with  regard  to  numbers),  is  to  tally. 
The  ancient  practice  of  cutting  notches  in  sticks,  one  stick  being 
given  to  each  party  to  a  transaction,  is  regarded  as  the  origin  of  our 
system  of  tallying. 

Tally  (on  shipboard). — To  haul  both  sheets  aft,  as  for  running 
before  the  wind,  thus—"  Taut  aft,  the  sheets  they  tally,  and  belay.'r 
(Falconer's  "  Shipwreck.") 

Tan.  (for  the  preservation  of  sails). — A  decoction  of  kutch  or 
catechu  with  ochre,  or  some  other  colouring  matter,  strained  after 
boiling.  Sails  may  be  steeped  in  this  for  several  hours,  after  which 
they  are  washed  and  dried.  The  process  of  tanning  is  said  to  give 
several  years  of  extra  wear  to  sails. 

Taper  (of  a  rope). — Rat-tailed:  that  is,  diminishing  towards  a 
point.  Ropes  may  be  tapered  and  whipped  so  as  to  enable  them 
to  pass  easily  through  eyes,  etc. 

Tar. — This  material  is  obtained  in  the  distillation  of  various 
organic  matters.  There  are  three  sorts  of  tar — wood,  coal,  and 
Stockholm.     The  residue  from  the  distillation  of  tar  is  pitch. 

Tarpaulin. —  Canvas  well  covered  with  tar  or  paint.  The 
water-proof  clothes  worn  by  fishermen  and  sailors  in  foul  weather 
(see  Oil-skins)  are  often*called  tarpaulins,  and  rightly  so,  for 
they  are  often  saturated  with  tar  or  paint  instead  of  with  oil. 

Taunt. — Spoken  of  the  masts  and  spars  of  a  vessel  when  very 
liigh.  When  all  her  light  and  long  spars  are  aloft  she  is  said  to  be 
all  a' taunt. 

Taut,  or  taught. — The  seaman's  pronunciation  of  the  word 
"tight."  But  it  has  a  much  fuller  meaning  at  sea,  and  often 
expresses  neatness  ;  properly  disposed  ;  prepared  for  any  emergency, 

Taut  bowline. — A  ship  is  described  as  sailing  with  a  taut  bow- 
line  when  she  is  close-hauled  to  the  wind,  because  in  that  situation 
her  bowlines  (being  ropes  which  draw  the  leeches  of  square  sails  for- 
ward) are  hauled  tight. 

Taut  helm. — When  a  vessel  carries  much  weather  helm,  she  is 
said  to  have  a  taut  helm. 

Taut  leech. — A  sail  well  filled  and  standing  flat  is  said  to  "  hold  a 
taut  leech." 

Tell-tale. —  Generally  speaking,  an  instrument  by  which  a 
person  can  obtain  certain  records.  Thus  an  inverted  compass  swing- 
ing on  the  ceiling  of  a  cabin  tells  the  tale  of  a  ship's  course ;  or  a 
dial  plate  on  the  wheel  shows  the  position  of  the  tiller. 

Tell-tale  shake.—'1  The  shake  of  a  rope  from  aloft,  to  denote  that 
it  wants  letting  go."     (Smyth.) 

Tend. — I.  To  have  a  tendency  ;  as  "  she  tends  to  bury  her 
head."  2.  The  swing  of  a  vessel  on  the  tide  is  her  tend  ;  as  "  she 
is  tending  up. " 

A    DICTIONAKY    OF    SEA    TEltMS. 


Tender. — A  small  vessel  employed  to  attend  a  larger  one. 

Tenon. — Any  piece  of  material  so  cut  as  to  fit  into  a  mortise. 
Thus  the  square  tongue  cut  on  the  heel  of  a  mast  to  fit  into  the 
step  is  the  tenon  or  tongue. 

Tew.— To  beat  hemp.     (Smyth.) 

Thames  Conservancy. — The  common  appellation  for  the  Con- 
servators of  the  Thamest  "a  body  of  modern  creation,  representing 
the  Imperial  Government,  the  city  of  London  and  the  commercial 
interest  of  the  river,  and  exercising  the  general  powers  of  harbour 
and  conservancy  board  over  the  lower  liver  and  estuary,  as  well  as 
those  of  conservancy  on  the  upper  river  as  far  as  Cricklade."  The 
office  of  the  Thames  Conservancy  is  on  the  Thames  Embankment, 
Blackfriars  Bridge. 

Thaughts.— (See  Thwarts.)  , 

Thick.  —  Thick-and-thin  block.  —  A  block 
taking  two  sizes  of  rope.  {See  also  Fiddle 

Thick  strakes  (in  shipbuilding).  —  Strakes 
(lines  of  planking)  along  a  ship's  sides  which 
are  thicker  than  the  rest.     (See  Strake.) 

Thick  staff  (in  shipbuilding). — Thick  timber. 

Thimble. — A  small  metal  eye  or  ring,  con- 
cave on  its  outer  diameter,  so  that  a  rope  may 
be  brought  round  it  and  spliced.     A  thimble  is 
usually  inserted  into  such  loops  as  are  liable  to 
get  quickly  worn,  as,  for  instance,  where  a  lan- 
yard passes  tlirough  them  ;  or  in  the  reef-eyes  of 
sails,   through  which  the  reef- 
points  are  rove.     But  thimbles 
are  not  necessarily  round  :  they 
may  be  roughly  triangular  or 
"thimble  shaped,"  when   thev 
are  called    thimble-eyes,   which 
are  also   thimble-shaped    holes 
in  iron  plates  where  sheaves  are 
not  required.     They  are  often 
used   instead    of   dead-eyes    in 
small  craft. 

Tholes  (otherwise  thole- 
pins, or  thowels ;  Anglo-Saxon 
thol). — Pegs  fitted  into  holes 
in  a  boat's  gunwale,  and  be- 
tween which  oars  are  placed 
while  rowing.  They  are,  practi- 
cally, but  a  form  of  rowlock, 
and  are  to  be  seen  more  particu- 
larly in  sea  boats ;  their  chief 
advantage  being  that  they  may 
be    removed    when    necessary.  Tholes. 




(See  Rowlocks.)  In  some  waters,  more  particularly  abroad,  only 
one  thole -pin  is  employed,  to  which  the  oar  is  either  loosely  held  by 
a  grommet  of  rope,  or  the  fulcrum  of  the  oar  is  so  enlarged  that  a 
bole  may  be  bored  through  it,  and  this  hole  is  dropped  over  the 
pin.     (iSee  fig.) 

Thorough,  put. — "  A  tangle  in  the  ropes  of  a  tackle."  It  is,  in 
fact,  a  thorough  mess. 

Thrash.. — A  boat  is  sometimes  said  to  be  "  thrashing  along  " 
when  she  is  ploughing  through  the  water  either  at  a  high  rate  of 
speed,  or  apparently  so,  either  close-hauled  or  reaching. 

Three. — Three-masted  schooner. — A  rig  which  appears  to  have 
originated  in  America.  Every  mast  is  fore-and-aft  rigged,  which 
enables  the  vessel  to  sail  very  close  to  the  wind,  and  to  come  about 
quickly.  When  square  topsails  are  added  to  the  foremast  the  rig  is 
called  jack-ass,  and  approaches  the  barkentine,  but  is  to  be  dis- 
tinguished from  it  by  the  composition  of  the  foremast.  {See  under 

"  Three  half-hitches  are  more  than  a  king's  yacht  wants."  An  old 
expression.  It  signifies  that  in  making  fast  by  half-hitches,  two 
are  sufficient,  and  three,  therefore,  quite  unnecessary.  It  is  a  hint 
to  the  landsman  not  to  waste  his  time  or  his  rope  in  making  more 
knots  than  are  required. 

"  Three  sheets  in  the  wind." — A  very  common  expression  for  a  man 
slightly  intoxicated.  It  would  appear  that  there  must  be  definable 
degrees  of  drunkenness,  and  that,  under  the  rule,  the  condition  of 
three  sheets  in  the  wind  is  one  degree  less  advanced  than  that  of 
half  seas  over  (which  see). 

Three-square. — Another  name  for  jib-shaped,  i.e.,  triangular. 

Throat. — 1.  That  part  of  a  boom  or  gaff 
immediately  behind  the  jaws.  It  is  some- 
times called  the  neck.  To  it,  on  a  gaff,  is 
attached  the  throat  halyard,  which  elevates 
the  throat  while  the  peak  halyards  are  lifting 
the  peak  (see  below) ;  and  under  the  throat 
is  attached  another  rope  called  the  tricing 
line,  which  serves  to  pull  or  trice  up  the  luff 
of  the  sail,  so  as  quickly  to  reduce  the  area  <L 
it  presents  to  the  wind.  2.  The  forward  vy/ 
part  of  the  head  of  a  gaff  sail  is  also  called 
the  throat.  (See  SAIL.)  3.  The  word  throat 
is  also  used  in  shipbuilding  to  describe  such 
parts  of  any  timbers  as  are  narrowed  down 
to  a  neck. 

Throat  halyard. — The  halyard  which  ele- 
vates the  throat  of  a  gaff.  In  fore-and-aft 
rig  it  is  often  called  the  main  halyard,  from 
the  fact  that  it  is  the  principal  halyard  on 
the  main  mast,  just  as  "  mizzen   halyard  "  Throat. 

A    DICTIONAKY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  285 

will  mean  mizzen  throat  halyard  because  it  is  the  principal  halyard 
on  the  mizzen  mabt.  But  when  spoken  of  in  the  same  connection 
with  other  halyards  belonging  to  the  same  spar,  the  distinguishing 
term  "  throat "  would  be  used,  as,  for  example,  the  mainsail  having 
been  hoisted,  the  order  might  be  given  :  "  Belay  the  throat  halyard 
and  set  up  on  the  peak."  Spoken  of  in  conjunction,  the  halyards 
lifting  the  mainsail  are  called  the  gaff  halyards,  because  they  act 
upon  the  gaff.  The  throat  halyard  in  small  craft  is  fastened  to  a 
ring  at  the  throat  of  the  gaff,  and  after  passing  through  a  block 
at  the  mast  head,  comes  down  on  deck  and  is  belayed,  usually  on 
the  starboard  (right  hand)  side  of  the  mast. 

Throt. — On  full-rigged  ships,  that  part  of  the  mizzen  yard  which 
is  close  to  the  mast  is  sometimes  called  the  throt.  It  is  equivalent 
to  throat. 

Through  fastenings  (in  shipbuilding). — Bolts  or  treenails 
driven  through  both  the  planks  and  timbers  of  a  vessel. 

Thrum. — The  material  for  thrumming.  Any  coarse  woollen  or 
hempen  yarn. 

Thrumming. — To  stop  a  leak  by  working  a  portion  of  thrum  well 
greased  and  tarred,  and  contained  in  a  piece  of  heavy  sail  cloth, 
under  the  vessel  by  means  of  ropes,  until  it  reaches  the  leak,  when 
it  is  hauled  taut  and  left.  The  pressure  of  the  water  forces  the 
tarred  thrum  into  any  openings,  and  thus  the  leak  is  gradually 
filled,  or  at  least  sufficiently  so  to  stop  any  serious  ingress  of  water. 
But  thrumming  is  often  done  with  simple  yarn,  ungreased,  and  by 
some  is  held  to  be  far  more  efficacious  thus. 

Thumb  cleat. — A  small  cleat,  resembling  a  man's  thumb. 
These  are  often  fitted  to  spars,  masts,  etc.     {See  fig.  under  Cleat.) 

Thwart. — A 'thwart  means  across ;  and  in  a  boat  the  seats  are 
called  the  thwarts,  because  they  are  placed  across,  or  a'thwart,  the 
boat.  The  thwarts  are  secured  by  knees  to  a  wiring  clamp  (a  short 
stringer)  which  lies  on  the  bent  heads  (ribs)  of  the  boat.  Their 
office  is  somewhat  akin  to  that  of  the  beams  of  a  ship,  for  they 
carry  such  weight  as   is   placed  on  the   upper  part   of  the   boat. 

Thwartships. — Across  the  ship  or  boat. 

Thwart-marks  to  a  harbour. — "  Two  objects  on  the  land  which, 
brought  into  line  with  each  other,  mark  the  safe  course  between 
shoals  ;  as  those  on  Southsea  Common  act  for  the  Needles,  swash- 
ways,  etc."  (Smyth.)  Some  suppose  that  the  pinnacles  which  so 
often  cap  the  corner  buttresses  of  the  square  church  towers  of  the 
15th  and  16th  centuries  have  a  like  purpose.  But  although  these 
may,  and  in  some  instances  undoubtedly  do,  guide  the  coaster  on 
approaching  the  shore,  it  appears  improbable  that  they  can  have 
been  erected  for  such  a  purpose  expressly,  since  they  are  by  no 
means  peculiar  to  the  sea  board. 

Tide  (See  Lagging  of  Tides,  Making  of  Tides,  Spring 
Tides,  Neap  Tides). — Tide  rip,  race,  or  whorl. — Short  ripplings 
which  result  from  eddies  or  the  passage  over  uneven  bottoms ;  also 



observed  in  the  ocean  where  two  currents  meet,   but  not  appearing 
to  affect  a  ship's  course.     (Smyth.) 

Tide-rode. — A  vessel  at  anchor  in  a  tide  way  is  said  to  lie 

Tide  way. — The  mid-stream  of  the  tide. 

Tide  under  the  lee. — A  tide  running  up  against  the  lee  side  of  a 
vessel  when  she  is  sailing  across  it.     {See  Lee.  ) 

Head  tide. — A  tide  a'head  ;  that  is  against  the  course  of  a  vessel. 

Tide  and  half  tide. — "  The  turn  of  the  tidal  stream  off  shore  is 
seldom  coincident  with  the  time  of  high  and  low  water  on  shore. 
In  open  channels,  the  tidal  stream  ordinarily  overruns  the  turn  of 
the  vertical  movement  of  the  tide  by  three  hours,  forming  what  is 
usually  known  as  tide  and  half-tide,  the  effect  of  which  is  that  at 
high  and  low  water  by  the  shore  the  stream  is  running  at  its 
greatest  velocity."     (Lloyd's  "  Seaman's  Almanac,"  1897.) 

Tier. — 1.  A  species  of  fender,  made  up  of  old  rope.  2.  The  hollow 
space  in  the  middle  of  a  coil  of  rope.  3.  In  old  ships,  the  batteiy 
of  guns  on  one  side  of  a  ship. 

Ties,  or  stops. — Short  ropes  which  are  used  to  confine  a  sail  to  its 
yard  or  gaff  when  furled.  They  are  also  called  gaskets  and  furling 
lines.     (See  also  under  Stop.) 

Tiffin. — One  of  the  meals  supplied  to  the  officers  on  board  a 
merchant  or  mail  ship.     It  is  a  sort  of  "  high  tea." 

Tight. — Spoken  of  a  boat,  it  means  that  she  is  free  from  leakage. 
In  any  other  sense  the  word  as  used  at  sea  becomes  "  taut "  (which 

Tiller. — One  of  the  component  parts  of  the  helm.  (See  Helm. )  It 
is  the  handle,  or  beam,  at  the  head  of  the  rudder,  and  by  which  that 
member  is  worked.  In  small  boats  it  is  a  mere  bar  worked  by  hand  ; 
in  large  ones  it  is  worked  by  a  wheel ;  and  in  long  open  boats,  where 
the  steersman  sits  too  far  amidships  to  work  it,  it  changes  its  form 
into  a  yoke,  or  plate,  which  is 
worked  by  lines,  called  yoke- 
lines  or  rudder-lines.  The 
tiller  of  small  craft  may  be  of 
iron  or  of  wood,  and  is  some- 
times decorated  with  carving 
at  the  head,  that  is  the  end 
furthest  from  the  rudder.  It 
fits  either  over  or  through  the 
rudder  stock.  If  there  is  any 
impediment,  on  deck,  to  its 
sweep  round  it  is  bent  either 
upwards  or  downwards;  and 
sometimes,  where  a  mizzen  mast  stands  between  the  rudder  and  the 
tiller  head,  the  tiller  makes  a  deep  bend  and  return  so  as  to  clear 
it ;  the  form  of  these  bends  will  be  seen  in  the  figure  under  Rudder. 
The  bar  and  yoke  may  also  be  combined  in  the  manner  shown  in 

Tiller  and  Yoke. 

A   DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  287 

the  same  figure.  It  is  a  plan  sometimes  applied  to  boats,  pointed 
bow  and  stem,  in  which  a  long  space  exists  between  the  rudder  and 
the  helmsman's  seat ;  its  object  being  to  do  away  with  the  necessity 
of  handling  rudder  lines.  It  applies  naturally  to  sailing  boats  (in 
■which  rudder  lines  are  very  awkward),  and  can  only  be  carried  out 
in  those  which  are  decked  in  fore  and  aft.  The  principle  is  very 
simple  ;  the  rudder  retains  its  yoke,  and  a  second  yoke  is  fitted  to 
a,  pivot  on  the  deck  near  the  helmsman,  this  second  yoke  being 
worked  by  a  short  tiller ;  but  the  rudder  lines  which  connect  these 
two  yokes  must  in  this  case  be  of  iron.  For  further  remarks  on  the 
subject  refer  to  Helm  and  Rudder. 

Sweep  of  the  tiller. — The  circle  the  head  makes  in  travelling  round. 

Tilt. — This  word,  whether  used  afloat  or  ashore,  generally  means 
a  cover  of  canvas  or  of  some  like  material.  So,  the  cover  of  a  boat 
is  occasionally  called  the  tilt,  as  also  may  be  the  small  awning  over 
the  well  of  a  yacht. 

Timbers.  —  This  is  a  collective  term  applied  to  the  various 
members  employed  in  the  building  of  a  vessel,  such  as  beams,  ribs, 
floors,  etc.  But  when  "  timbers  are  spoken  of  without  further 
specification  the  term  often  means  the  ribs  only. 

Timber  heads. — The  heads  of  the  ribs  of  a  vessel. 

Timber  hitch. — A  useful  knot  for  taking  a  hasty  hold  on  some 
bollard,  or  post.    (See  Knots.) 

Timber  space  (in  shipbuilding). — Distance  between  timbers.  The 
same  as  Room  and  Space. 

Time. — 1.  Time  allowance,  in  yacht  and  sailing-boat  racing,  is 
the  foundation  for  handicapping.  A  large  craft  allows  time  to  a 
smaller  one,  so  that  they  may  compete  on  equal  terms.  This  allow- 
ance is  calculated  in  seconds  per  mile,  according  to  rules  adopted  by 
any  particular  club,  or  on  the  new  system  of  linear  measurement 
<1896).     (-See  under  Rating.) 

2.  Time,  in  rowing,  is  the  space  of  time  occupied  between  each 
stroke  of  the  rowers.  When  all  swing  together  they  are  said  to 
keep  good  time;  when  they  dip  unevenly,  that  is,  one  before  or 
after  another,  the  time  is  called  bad,  and  the  crew  may  then  be 
justly  described  as  "wild."  In  this  latter  case,  the  coxswain  or 
the  coach  would  call  out  "  Time!" — meaning  this  as  an  expostula- 
tion or  as  an  order  to  keep  time. 

Tingle. — A  patch  put  on  over  the  outside  (or  inside)  of  a  broken 
plank  in  a  boat ;  it  must  be  distinguished  from  a  patch  let  in,  which  is 
not  a  tingl  e .  Tingles  may  be  of  wood 
or  lead ;  the  first  is  more  general, 
the  latter  more  serviceable,  except 
where  the  boat  has  much  beaching, 
for  it  cannot  split.  Tingles  are  usu- 
ally nailed  on  over  strips  of  thick  _1 
paper  or  canvas  previously  saturated 
in  tar,  varnish  or  linseed  oil.  Tingles. 


Whelk  tingle,  otherwise  called  dog  whelk. — A  mollusc  which  hores 
through  the  shells  of  others.     (See  Whelk.  ) 

Toggle  and  becket. — A  toggle  is  a  short  piece  of  wood 
intended  to  pass  through  an  eye  at  the  end  of  a  rope  :  it  is- 
grooved  about  the  middle  so  that  the  rope  may  Becket 

not  slip  off  it.  A  becket  is  a  small  eye  at  the  °$S  eJ  ""  f~p%?J 
end  of  a  rope,  sometimes  intended  to  hold  a 
toggle,  sometimes  large  enough  for  the  toggle 
to  pass  loosely  through.  When  a  rope  or  lan- 
yard is  furnished  with  a  toggle  at  one  end  and 
a  becket  (or  eye)  at  the  other,  the  combination 
is  called  a  toggle  and  becket,  and  becomes  a 
very  useful  little  agent,  employed  on  number- 
less occasions,  as,  for  instance,  for  hastily  confining  sails  when  furled, 
for  holding  a  sail  cover  over  a  boom,  for  temporarily  holding  a 
tiller,  etc. 

A  sny  is  a  small  toggle  attached  to  a  flag  whereby  it  may  be 
bent  to  its  halyard  without  tying.     (Sec  SNY.) 

Tom. — Tom  Collins,  whether  or  no. — An  old  expression  of  positive 
assertion.  It  may  mean,  literally,  "  Such  is  the  case,  whatever  may 
be  said  to  the  contrary." 

lorn  Pepper. — "  A  term  for  a  liar ;  he  having,  according  to 
nautical  tradition,  been  kicked  out  of  the  nether  regions  for 
indulging  in  falsehood."     (Smyth.) 

Ton. — Tonnage — The  measure  of  a  ship's  internal  dimensions, 
as  the  basis  of  a  standard  for  dues,  etc.  The  term  appears  to  have 
originated  from  the  tun  cask  of  wine  and  to  have  meant  the  number 
of  such  tuns  which  the  ship  could  carry.  At  a  later  period  the  ton, 
as  a  term  of  space,  was  40  cubic  feet.  The  measurement  of  yachts 
was  given  in  tonnage  until  recent  years,  when  the  word  rate  took 
its  place  for  all  racing  purposes.  For  a  history  of  tonnage  see 
Lloyd's  "Seaman's  Almanac." 

Tongue. — 1.  In  shipbuilding,  the  long  tapered  end  of  one 
piece  of  timber  made  to  fall  into  a  scarf  at  the  end  of  another 
piece  to  gain  length.  2.  A  low  or  sunken  sand,  as  that  in  the 
Thames  estuary  (off  Margate)  marked  by  the  lightship  known  as 
The  Tongue. 

Top. — I.  That  portion  of  a  mast  from  the  hounds  upwards.  2- 
(In  old  ships. )  A  sort  of  platform  placed  on  the  head  of  the  lower 

To  top. — To  raise  one  end  of  a  yard  or  boom  by  means  of  a 
rope  called  the  topping  lift ;  in  old  ships  the  free  traverse  of  the 
square  sails  about  the  mast  was  often  interrupted  by  stays,  thus 
necessitating  that  the  yards  or  booms  should  be  topped  as  the  ship 
came  about.  In  the  modern  rigs,  however,  this  is  vo  a  great  extent 
obviated  ;  and  the  topping  lift  belongs  now,  more  particularly,  to 
a  gaff-sail,  sucb  as  the  main  sail  of  a  cutter,  a  yawl  and  other 
fore-and-aft  rigged  craft.     In  sails  of  this  description  a  topping-lift 


is  a  halyard  used  to  elevate  the  after  end  of  a  boom,  which  is 
<alled  topping  the  boom,  and  is  necessary  under  various  circum- 
stances, as  in  reefing,  tricing  up  the  sail,  etc.  {See  diagram  under 
Rigging.  )  The  standing  end  of  a  topping-lift  is  either  permanently 
secured  or  simply  eye-spliced  and  passed  over  the  boom  end  ;  it  then 
runs  through  a  block,  usually  placed  high  up  on  the  head  of  the 
mast,  and  comes  down  on  deck  to  be  belayed  on  the  starboard  side 
•of  the  mast.  In  large  vessels  the  topping-bit  is  double,  one  rope 
being  on  each  side  of  the  sail.  In  some  sailing  boats,  more  par- 
ticularly in  those  carrying  lug-sails  or  those  una-rigged,  the  topping- 
lift  is  occasionally  called  the  sling. 

Top  gallant  (pronounced  t'gam). — This  term  has  a  considerable 
use  at  sea.  It  is  derived  from  top  "  garland ; "  a  garland  being 
■originally  a  rope  used  for  swaying  a  topmast.  (See  Garland.) 
In  a  ship  we  have  the  top  gallant  masts,  yards,  sails,  stays,  etc. 

Top  gallant  forecastle  (pronounced  "  t'gam  fo'ks'l"). — A  small 
extra  forecastle  in  certain  ships,  above  the  deck. 

Top-hamper. — Weight  aloft,  that  is,  above  the  decks  of  a  vessel. 
Thus  her  topmasts  and  yards  constitute  her  top-hamper  ;  and  if  these 
are  too  much  for  her,  she  is  said  to  have  too  much  top-hamper.  In 
•a  ship  the  top-hamper  is  sometimes  a  rope  for  swaying  a  top  or 
top-gallant  mast — the  ancient  "  topmast  garland." 

Topmast. — This  is  described  under  the  heading  MAST. 

Topmast  stays. — Topmasts,  like  lower  masts,  are  supported  by 
various  stays,  those  keeping  them  forward  being  called  fore-stays, 
and  those  'keeping  them  back,  the  back-stays.  In  a  ship  each  top- 
mast has  these  stays,  which  take  their  names  from  that  of  the  mast, 
as  main  stay,  top  gallant  stay,  fore  stay,  etc.  In  single  masted 
craft  the  topmast  fore-stay  is  a  stay  or  rope  running  from  the  head 
•of  the  topmast  to  the  bowsprit  end.  Upon  it  is  set  the  jib-topsail. 
Topmast  back-stays,  also  called  preventers,  are  only  seen  in  yachts 
of  tolerable  size,  being  found  unnecessary  in  small  boats  (except 
under  extraordinary  circumstances),  and  always  a  little  difficult  to 
work,  since  they  have  to  be  shifted  as  the  boom  comes  over.  (See 
•diagram  under  Rigging.) 

Topsails. — In  square  rigged  vessels  the  topsails  are  those  set 
above  the  courses,  taking  their  names  from  the  masts,  yards,  or 
stays  upon  which  they  stand.  Thus,  in  a  ship,  there  will  be 
the  main-topsail,  main-top-gallant,  main-royal,  main-top-studding- 
sail,  main-top-gallant-studding-sail,  main-top-stay-sail,  main-top 
gallant-stay-sail,  etc.  In  modern  days,  the  huge  square  topsail 
of  the  old  ship  having  been  found  to  hold  too  much  wind  to 
work  rapidly,  has  been  divided  into  two  parts,  called  respectively 
the  upper  topsail  and  the  lower  or  middle  topsail ;  and  this 
•division  constitutes  what  are  known  as  double  topsails  (under 
which  heading  they  are  more  fully  described).  In  cutters,  sloops, 
and  other  fore-and-aft  rigged  craft,  the  main  topsail  is  that  one 
set  above  the  mainsail ;  here  it  is  but  an  extension  of  the  mainsail, 
and  the  two  should  work  together  as  one.     The  jib-topsail,  or,  as  it 




may  be  called,  the  topmast  fore-stay-sail,  is  a  jib  sail  standing 

on  the  topmast  fore-stay. 

A  topsail  extended  on  a  gaff  is  called  a  gaff  topsail ;   and  the 

gaff  topsails  on  a  cutter  yacht 

may   be   as   follow   (see  fig.)  : — 

Jib-headed  topsail. — That   most 

usually   carried,  because  by  far 

the    most     handy    for    general 

cruising,   and   at    all   times   the 

most    easily    manipulated.      It 

takes  its  name  from  its  shape, 

being  a  jib-shaped  or  triangular 

sail ;  its  head  draws  up   to  the 

topmast   head,   and  it    may  be 

either  laced  to  the  topmast  or 

held  to  it  by  a  rope,  called  the 

jack-stay,  which  is   attached   to 

a  cringle  in  the  middle   of  the 

luff.     Big    topsail. — A    general 

name,  given  for  want  of  a  better, 

to   the   largest   topsail  a  yacht 

carries  under  normal  circum- 
stances.    Its   head    is   extended 

on  a  yard,  so  that  it  becomes, 

in  fact,  a  sort  of  standing  lug, 

elevated  above  the  mainsail,  with 

its  clew  drawn  up  to  the  peak 

and  its  tack-line  running  down 

to  the  base  of  the  lower  mast. 

It  is  only  used  in  bight  winds. 

. — Spinnaker  topsail,  often  called 
the  big  topsail,  has  no  connec- 
tion with  the  spinnaker,  but 
being  a  racing  sail  only  suited 
to   running  or  sailing  large,  is  , 

often  used  at  the  same  time  as  t'acfc 
that.  The  peculiarity  of  this 
sail  hies  in  the  fact  that  its  after  ' 
leech  is  extended  beyond  the 
peak  of  the  mainsail  on  a  small 
boom  called  the  jack-yard.  It 
is  difficult  to  determine  whether 
this  sail  possesses  any  real  ad- 
vantage over  the  ordinary  big 
topsail,  but  with  certain  boats  it 
may,  without  doubt,  be  effec- 
tive. Jack  topsail. — A  topsail  laced  to  a  spar  called  the  jack- 
yard,  wliich  yard  is  drawn  vip  close  to  the  mast  and  extends 
perpendicularly   up    beyond    it.       The    foot    of    the    sail    is    also 

Gaff  Topsails. 

A   DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEKMS.  291 

sometimes  extended  on  another  small  yard  (also  called  the  jack- 
yard),  like  the  spinnaker  topsail  previously  described. 

Theoretically  a  topsail  should  be  set  to  windward  so  that  the 
tack  may  always  lie  down  on  the  mainsail ;  but  as  this,  of  course, 
is  impossible,  it  is  usually  hoisted  on  the  starboard  side. 

A  boat  is  said  to  hold  her  topmast  when  she  can  beat  to  windward 
under  a  topsail.  This,  as  above  noted,  she  cannot  do  with  her  big 
topsail  if  the  wind  be  at  all  fresh,  for  that  sail  is  liable  to  belly 
away  from  the  mast  and  loose  the  wind,  and  is  then  said  not  to 
hold  the  mast.  She  holds  her  topmast  best  under  a  jib  topsail. 
With  barges  and  other  heavily  laden  craft  the  topsail  is  often  carried 
when  the  mainsail  is  double  reefed  or  brailed  up. 

Topsail  sheets. — The  ropes  which  work  topsails.  In  ships  the 
ropes  attached  to  both  clews  of  all  topsails  (i.e.,  all  square  sails 
above  the  courses)  are  called  sheets,  but  not  so  with  the  courses. 
(See  Sheets.)  In  fore-and-aft  rigged  boats  the  topsail  sheet 
is  that  rope  which  brings  the  clew  of  a  topsail  to  the  gaff.  It  is 
bent  to  the  sail,  passes  through  a  sheave  at  the  gaff  end,  thence 
to  a  block  which  is  often  suspended  by  a  short  rope  or  tail  from  the 
throat,  and  then  downward  to  the  deck,  to  be  belayed  m  the  most 
convenient  position,  for  the  belaying  of  this  sheet  varies  in  different 
boats.  (See  fig.,  p.  290.)  This  method  of  bringing  the  topsail  sheet 
down  may  need  explanation  :  the  topsail,  it  must  be  remembered, 
usually  (though  not  always)  is  set  on  the  starboard  side,  and  while  the 
boat  is  on  the  starboard  tack  there  is  no  reason  why  the  sheet  should 
not  be  brought  straight  down  from  the  gaff  end.  But  when  the 
boat  comes  about  on  the  other  tack  the  mainsail  will  press  very 
heavily  upon  the  topsail  sheet,  and  most  probably  overstrain,  if 
indeed  it  does  not  break  it.  It  is  necessary,  then,  that  this  sheet 
should  be  relieved,  and  the  best  manner  of  doing  this  is  to  take  it 
along  the  head  of  the  mainsail  as  nearly  parallel  with  the  gaff  as 

Topsail  breeze. — A  fine  breeze  in  which  a  vessel  may  sail  under 

Topsail  schooner. — The  common  name  for  a  trading  schooner 
carrying  square  fore-topsails.      (See  SCHOONER.) 

Top  sawyer. — A  slang  term.  The  chief  man  in  any  undertaking  ; 
he  with  the  authority.  A  person  who  does  anything  in  a  first  class 
manner  may  also  be  called  a  top  sawyer,  as  also  may  a  boat  which 
has  more  than  usually  excellent  qualities. 

Top  timbers  (in  shipbuilding). — The  topmost  futtocks  of  a  vessel, 
sometimes  called  the  heads  or  head  timbers. — Above  the  top 
timbers  are  placed  the  short  timbers.      (See  diagrams  under  Frame.) 

Torse. — A  coarse  kind  of  hemp  usually  called  cordilla. 

Torsion  (of  cables). — "  All  ropes  formed  by  twisting  have  a 
contraiy  turn,  and  a  disposition  to  kink  from  torsion."  (Smyth). 

Tosh. — A  slang  term  for  a  theft,  more  especially  from  dockyards. 

Toss  oars. — The  expression  is  variously  used,  but  especially 
signifies  to  throw  the  oars  up  to  the  perpendicular  as  they  do  in  the 


292  A    DICTIONAKY    OF    SEA    TEEMS. 

Royal  Navy  in  compliment  to  an  officer,  preparatory  to  shipping  or 
unshipping.  But  the  order  to  "  Toss  oars  !"  may  also  mean  merely 
to  ship  or  unship. 

Total  loss. — A  term  in  marine  insurance,  signifying  that  the 
underwriters  (who  insured  her  against  loss)  have  to  pay  the  whole 
amount  for  which  a  .lost  vessel  has  heen  insured,  without  deduction 
for  salvage. 

Touch,  (in  navigation). — To  touch  at  any  port  is  to  stop  there 
for  only  a  short  period.  (In  sailing). — Sails  are  said  to  touch  (mean- 
ing touch  the  wind),  when  they  just  begin  to  shiver  as  the  vessel  is 
put  up  to  the  wind. 

Luff and  touch  her. — An  order  to  the  helmsman  to  sail  the  vessel 
so  close  as  almost  to  touch  the  wind. 

Touch  and  take. — "  An  old  proverb  which  Nelson  applied  to  a 
ship  about  to  encounter  her  opponent. " 

To  have  a  touch  of  the  tar-brush. — A  person  in  whose  appearance 
there  is  a  slight  approach  to  the  negro  is  sometimes  thus  described. 

Tow. — 1.  To  tow  is  to  draw  a  vessel  along  in  the  water.  It 
may  be  done  either  from  banks,  by  horses  or  men,  or  by  another 
vessel  in  the  water,  as  a  tug  takes  a  ship  in  tow. 

A  tow-line  or  tow-rope  is  the  rope  by  which  the  vessel  is  towed  ; 
those  employed  by  tugs  are  very  large  hempen  ropes,  seldom  less 
than  9  inches  in  diameter,  and  veiy  costly.  On  the  Upper  Thames 
a  thin  tow-line  forms  part  of  the  inventory  of  every  new  skiff  ;  and 
towing  is  a  veiy  favourite  method  of  getting  up  against  stream. 

A  tow-mast  is  a  small  mast  used  in  canal  barges  and  in  skiffs  to 
lead  the  tow-line  clear  of  all  impediments  along  the  banks.  The  line 
is  usually  attached  to  the  mast  in  such  a  manner  as  to  form  a  sort 
of  backstay  on  the  side  farthest  from  the  bank. 

A  tow  among  tug  and  barge  men  signifies  the  vessel  or  vessels 
in  tow. 

To  steer  while  being  towed  is  not  altogether  easy.  In  an  open 
boat  a  tow-line  should  never  be  made  fast  to  the  stem,  the  strain  on 
the  boat  being  too  great  ;  it  should  be  passed  round  one  of  the  forward 
thwarts.  "  As  the  vessel  towed  affects  the  motions  of  the  other, 
much  attention  is  required  on  her  part  to  second  the  intentions  of 
the  towing  vessel."  (Brande  and  Cox.)  This,  of  course,  only 
applies  to  large  vessels. 

2.  Tow-hauling. — -A  method,  in  the  oyster  fisheries  of  the  Essex 
rivers,  and  occasionally  elsewhere,  of  dredging  for  oysters  in  small 
creeks  and  under  banks,  where  a  sailing  vessel  cannot  work.  The 
work  is  done  in  large  open  boats  called  skiffs  (oyster  skiffs).  Two 
anchors  being  placed  at  a  convenient  distance  apart  (say  60  or  80 
fathoms),  the  dredges  are  put  overboard  and  the  skiff  is  "  hauled  " 
from  one  anchor  to  the  other,  and  then  back,  thus  "  towing  "  the 
dredges  along,  and  hence  called  "  haul-towing  "  or  "  tow-hauling. " 
If  there  be  a  fair  breeze,  a  lug-sail  is  set,  which  assists  the  dredger- 
men  at  their  work. 

A   DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEHMS.  293 

3.  Tow. — By  the  material  tow  is  usually  understood  the  hard  or 
coarser  part  of  hemp  or  flax. 

Track. — A  vessel's  wake  upon  the  water. 

Trade  winds. — Those  winds  which,  in  and  near  the  torrid  zone, 
continue  to  hlow  for  a  certain  part  of  the  year  from  one  quarter. 
A  very  easy  and  lucid  explanation  of  these  winds  is  given  in  Captain 
Basil  Hall's  "Lieutenant  and  Commander,"  which  also  contains 
much  other  interesting  matter. 

Trail  boards. — In  old  ships  the  carved  boards  on  either  side  of 
the  stem,  and  helping  to  support  the  figure  head. 

Transom  (trans,  across). — In  a  ship  the  transoms  are  beams 
bolted  across  the  sternpost  to  receive  the  after  ends  of  the  decks. 
In  smaller  craft  the  transom  is  either  a  solid  piece,  or  a  frame  work, 
taking  the  form  of  the  end  of  a  boat,  and  secured  to  the  after  side 
of  the  sternpost.  In  either  oase  it  gives  the  form  to  the  stern  of  the 
vessel,  though  this  may  be  concealed  by  the  addition  of  a  counter. 
(See  Frame.)  In  large  ships  and  especially  in  old  ones  there  are  a 
number  of  transoms.  The  deck  transoms  are  the  highest,  being 
those  upon  which  the  deck  planks  are  rebated  (recessed).  The  helm 
transoms  are  at  the  head  of  the  sternpost.  The  wing  transoms 
come  next  below  and  form  the  lowest  part  of  the  stern.  Transom 
knees  are  knees  which  connect  the  transoms  with  the  sides  of  a 

Traveller. — 1.  A  ring  which  travels  along  a  spar;  it  is  fre- 
quently connected  with  a  hook  or  an  eye  to  which  a  sail  may  be 
attached.  The  jib-stay  of  a  cutter  carries  the  jib-sail  along  the 
bowsprit  by  means  of  a  traveller.  A  lug  sail  is  also  sometimes 
confined  to  its  mast  by  the  same  means,  though  the  plan  is  not  alto- 
gether a  good  one,  unless  the  traveller  be  made  of  two  parts,  when 
it  is  less  likely  to  jam.  A  traveller  is  also  sometimes  used  instead 
of  a  clamp  on  a  boom,  for  reefing.  Travellers  are  the  better  for 
being  served  (or  bound)  with  leather,  which  must  be  kept  greased. 

2.  Travellers  (in  the  stays  of  a  ship). — The  running  backstays  are 
sometimes  called  by  this  name.     (See  under  Backstays.) 

3.  Travelling  iron. — A  name  sometimes  given  on  ship  board  to 
that  which  in  a  yacht  or  sailing  boat  is  usually  called  the  horse 
(which  see). 

Traverse. — A  yard  traverses  about  its  mast  when  it  turns  about. 
To  put  the  yards  a-travers  (Ft.  a  traverse)  is  to  dispose  them  in  a 
fore-and-aft  direction. 

Traverse  sailing  (in  navigation). — Sailing  in  different  courses  in 

Traverse  table. — A  species  of  table,  or  tabulated  form,  employed  in 
reducing  the  courses  made  in  traverse  sailing. 

Traverse  wind. — A  wind  setting  directly  against  the  course  a 
vessel  desires  to  take,  as  into  a  harbour,  and  thereby  preventing 
vessels  from  getting  out. 



Trawl. — A  large  net  attached  to  a  heavy  beam  called  the  trawl- 
beam,  used  in  bottom  fishing.  A  vessel  employed  in  the  trawl  fisheries 
is  called  a  trawler,  and  if  in  the  North  Sea,  a  North  Sea  trawler. 

Otter  trawl. — Another  form  of  trawling  net  used  in  estuaries  and 
for  inshore  fishing. 

Tread. — The  length  of  a  vessel's  keel  is  her  tread. 

Tree. — The  word  "  tree  "  is  often  employed  at  sea  to  mean  "  of 
timber"  or  "wooden."  Thus  we  hear  of  the  treenails,  chess- 
trees,  cross-trees,  rough-trees,  trestle-trees,  waist-trees,  etc.  (all 
described  under  their  respective  headings),  all  of  which  are  of  wood. 

Treenails  (i.e.,  -tree  or  timber  nails,  pronounced,  and  often 
written,  "  trennels  "). — Wooden  bolts  of  various  forms,  by  which  the 
strakes  of  a  ship's  bottom  are  secured  to  her  lower  timbers. 

Treenail  wedges. — Treenails  of  wedge-like  shape. 

Trench. — To  trench  the  ballast  is  so  to  place  it  that  a  passage 
or  trench  is  left,  in  case  it  may  be  necessary  to  get  at  any  part  of 
the  vessel. 

Trend. — The  trend  of  an  anchor  is  that  part  of  the  shank  where 
its  thickness  increases — i.e.,  about  one-third  of  its  length  from  the 
crown.  But  modern  anchors  have  considerably  changed  in  form,  in 
many  the  thickness  of  the  shank  being  the  same  throughout,  while 
the  stock  is  often  absent.     {See  Anchor.  ) 

The  trend  of  a  coast  line  is  its  direction,  as  south-west,  north- 
east, etc. 

Trestle  trees. — A  trestle  tree  is  a  flat  piece  of  wood  at  a  mast- 
head supporting  the  cross-trees  and  topmast.  In  large  vessels  there 
are  two ;  one  each  side  of  the  mast.  In  small  craft,  one  piece, 
having  a  hole  in  it  to  fit  over  the  mast  and  another  to  form  a  lower 
cap  for  the  topmast,  takes  the  place  of  the  two.  Trestle  trees  are 
supported  on  the  shoulders,  or  bibbs,  as  they  are  sometimes  called. 
In  old  ships  fitted  with  tops  they  carry  the  tops ;  and  in  all  cases 
they  support  the  entire  weight  of  the 
topmast.     (See  under  Mast.  ) 

Triatic  stay,  or  jumper  stay.— 
This  is  a  stay  (or  rope)  running  from 
the  main  to  the  fore-mast  head  in  a 
schooner.  It  acts  as  a  forestay  to  the 
main-mast.  In  ships  there  are  such 
stays  connecting  the  masts  fore  and 
aft,  or  in  their  place  others  running 
from  each  mast  head  down  to  a  collar 
at  the  base  of  the  mast  before  it,  such 
sails  as  are  prevented  from  coming  round 
by  these  being   topped  up  and    hauled  Triatic  Stay. 

over  each  time  the  vessel  goes  about. 

It  will  be  seen  that  the  triatic  stay  precludes  the  possibility  of  setting 
a  gaff  top-sail  on  the  fore-mast.  In  this  case  square  top-sails  are 
set  (as  in  the  fig.).     When  it  is  desired  to  set  a  gaff  topsail  a 



Triced  Up. 

mainstay — running  from  the  main-mast  head  to  the  fore-mast  foot — 
is  employed  instead  of  the  triatic  stay,  the  large  boom  foresail  being 
"  topped"  over  it  each  time  the  vessel  comes  about. 

Trice. — To  trice  up  is  to  draw  up, 
shorten  or  tighten  some  sail  or  rope,  and 
the  tricing  line  is  the  rope  by  which  this 
is  accomplished.  Thus  the  main  trice  (also 
called  the  tack  trice,  or  tack  tricing  line), 
in  a  fore-and-aft  rigged  boat,  trices  or 
draws  up  the  tack  of  the  mainsail  towards 
the  masthead  (as  in  the  fig.),  the  object  of 
this  action  being  to  let  the  wind  out  of 
the  sail  without  lowering"  it.  This  line 
is  attached  to  the  tack  of  the  sail  and, 
passing  through  a  block  beneath  the 
throat  of  the  gaff,  comes  down  again  on 
deck.  The  bobstay  trice  is  a  rope  bent  to  the  bobstay,  and  serving 
to  pull  it  up  beneath  the  bowsprit  so  that  it  may  not  chafe  the 
cable  while  the  boat  lies  at  anchor. 

Trick  (at  sea). — The  time  allotted  to  a  man  to  be  at  the  wheel 
or  elsewhere.  The  word  has  somewhat  the  same  meaning  as  spell, 
and  may  otherwise  be  defined  as  "  a  spell  on  duty." 

Tricolor. — The  national  banner  of  France,  adopted  from  the 
ancient  standards,  during  the  First  Revolution.  These  colours  are 
blue,  white  and  red,  the  blue  being  first,  or  next  the  flagstaff. 
The  same  colours,  carried  as  a  British  flag,  are  disposed  the  reverse 
way,  that  is  the  red  next  the  staff — running,  therefore,  red,  white 
and  blue.  These  are  also  the  colours  of  Holland,  conferred  by 
Henry  IV.  of  France,  but  disposed  lengthwise.  Tri coloured  flags 
have  also  been  adopted  by  various  other  nations. 

Trim. — The  trim  is  the  position  of  a  vessel  in  the  water  with 
respect  to  the  horizontal.  If  she  is  level  she  is  in  trim;  if  on  uneven 
keel  or  if  lying  over  on  one  side  she  is  out  of  trim.  (5ee  fig. )  She  is 
also  popularly  called  ' '  trim  "  when  she  presents  a  smart  appearance, 
as  in  the  old  song,  "Farewell,  my 
trim-built  wherry,"  though  this 
line  might  also  mean  that  the 
boat  was  so  built  as  to  float  level 
in  the  water,  or  "trim." 

To  trim  a  boat  is,  therefore,  to  Boats  Out  of  Trim. 

balance  her  in  the  water  so  that 

she  may  lie  both  level  and  on  an  even  keel.  (See  Keel.)  In  a  sailing 
boat  or  a  yacht  this  will  mean  to  properly  dispose  the  ballast.  In 
an  open  or  row-boat  it  will  be  to  place  the  people  so  that  she  is  in 
trim ;  for  passengers  are  often  in  the  habit  of  moving  about  or  of 
choosing  such  situations  as  put  the  boat  quite  out  of  trim. 

To  trim  sails  is  so  to  dispose  the  sails  of  a  boat  that  she  will  move 
at  her  best  ;  and  as  sails  are,  of  course,  worked  by  sheets,  to  haul  in 
a  sheet  to  the  required  extent  is  called  trimming  in  the  sheet. 

296  A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEKMS. 

To  trim  clown  a  boat  is  to  take  down  and  stow  away  the  sails,  etc./ 
after  a  cruise,  and  to  leave  all  things  in  proper  order  for  future  use. 

Trinity  House. — One  of  the  bodies  having  certain  jurisdiction 
on  the  Thames  and  along  the  coast.  This  institution  was  incor- 
porated by  Henry  VIII.  in  1515,  and  its  powers  were  confirmed 
by  James  II.  and  have  further  been  defined  in  the  present  reign 
(Victoria).  Its  commission  is  for  the  regulation  of  lighthouses, 
lightships,  buoys,  beacons,  etc.,  besides  the  licensing  of  pilots,  the- 
disposal  of  wrecks,  and  many  other  things  directly  connected  with 
mercantile  navigation.     Its  members  are  called  "  brethren." 

Trinity  high-water  mark. — The  height  of  high  water  at  any  time 
or  place,  as  marked  by  the  Trinity  House. 

Trip. — 1.  A  passage  or  cruise.  2.  In  sailing,  a  single  board. 
(See  Tack.  ) 

The  anchor  a" trip. — The  anchor  just  as  it  leaves  the  ground. 
(See  Anchor.) 

Tripping  (in  yacht-sailing). — The  striking  of  the  boom  of  a  vessel 
on  the  crest  of  a  wave,  as  she  is  running  before  the  wind.  Should 
this  occur  with  any  violence,  or  in  a  heavy  sea,  the  result  may  be 
that  the  sail  will  suddenly  gybe,  a  possibility  by  all  means  to  be 
avoided  and  often  successfully  guarded  against  by  slightly  topping 
the  boom. 

Tripving  a  yard. — Bringing  it  to  the  necessary  angle. 

Tripping  a  topmast. — Lifting  it  slightly  so  as  to  withdraw  the- 
fid.     This  is  done  by  hauling  on  the — 

Tripping  line,  a  rope  for  lifting  the  heel  of  a  top  or  top-gallant 

Tropics. — "  The  parallels  of  declination  between  which  the  sun's 
annual  path  in  the  heavens  is  contained,  the  distance  of  each  from 
the  equator  being  equal  to  the  sun's  greatest  declination.  The 
northern  tropic  is  called  the  tropic  of  Cancer,  and  the  southern  one 
that  of  Capricorn,  from  their  touching  the  ecliptic  in  the  first  points 
of  those  stages."     (Brande  and  Cox.) 

Trough. — 1.  (Of  the  sea.)  The  hollow  between  the  waves. 
2.  A  small  boat  broad  at  the  ends.     (Smyth.) 

Trow. — A  species  of  barge  which,  as  with  so  many  other  forms 
of  vessels,  varies  with  locality.  Thus,  on  the  Severn  River  it  is 
a  clincher-built  hull  with  a  flat  floor,  while  on  the  Tyne 
it  is  a  sort  of  double  boat  with  a  space  between,  at  one 
time  used  in  the  salmon  fishery. 

Truck  (of  a  mast). — 1.  The  wooden  cap  at  the  head 
of  a  pole  or  topmast.  It  is  flat  and  circular,  and  gener- 
ally has  one  or  more  small  holes  in  it  for  flag  or  signal 

2.  The  small  wooden  beads  often  threaded  on  the  jaw 
rope  of  a  gaff  are  sometimes  called  trucks  or  parrel-trucks, 
though  more  properly,  perhaps,  they  are  parrel-rollers. 
(See  Parrel.) 



Truckle. — 1.  To  lower,  or  partly  lower;  spoken  of  a  sail.  The 
term  is  often  used  in  general  conversation,  as  to  "truckle  under." 
2.  A  Welsh  coracle. 

Trundle-head. — The  circular  head  of  a  capstan  into  which  the 
hare  are  fixed  for  turning  ;  to  trundle  being  to  make  ambulatory- 
gyrations,  as  in  the  saying  "  to  trundle  around. " 

Truss. — To  trass  or  truss  up  (in  sailing  craft)  is  to  brail 
up  a  sail  quickly,  which  is  done  with  a  truss  rope  or  line.  (See 

Truss  and  parrel.  —An  arrangement,  usually  consisting  of  an  iron 
ring,  but  sometimes  a  peculiar  loop  in  a  rope,  by  which  a  yard  is  held 
to  its  mast.  Such  an  arrangement  is  generally  required  with  lug 
sails.     (See  under  Lug.) 

Truss  hoops. — Clasps  which  may  run  on  masts  or  any  other  spar. 
A  divided  ring  may  be  regarded  as  a  truss  and  serves  very  well  with 
lug  sails. 

Try. — To  try. — To  lie  to  in  a  heavy  gale.  This  is  always  a 
somewhat  difficult  operation  ;  but  by  a  judicious  balance  of  canvas,  a 
vessel's  bow  may  be  kept  to  the  sea  without  causing  her  to  make  great 
way ;  and  this  is  called  trying.  Thus  if,  in  a  yacht  or  sailing  boat, 
close-reefed,  the  helm  be  put  down,  the  foresail  belayed  on  the  weather 
side,  so  that  it  lies  aback,  the  jib  to  leeward,  and  the  main  sheet  be 
close-hauled,  the  boat,  if  in  proper  trim,  ought  to  lie  to  without 
difficulty.  With  respect  to  the  old  ships  there  were  great  discussions 
on  the  art  of  trying,  which,  with  all  the  square  sail  they  carried,  was 
a  very  nice  performance.  It  was  said  by  Smyth  that  close-hauled  and 
under  all  sail  a  vessel  gained  headway  within  six  points,  while  in 
trying  she  might  come  up  to  five  and  fall  off  to  seven.  Falconer 
speaks  of  lashing  the  helm  a'lee.  Smyth,  on  the  other  hand,  speaks 
strongly  against  it.  "  If  a  vessel  be  in  proper  trim,"  he  says,  "  she 
will  naturally  keep  to  the  wind  ;  but  custom  and  deficiency  of  sea- 
manlike ability  have  induced  the  lazy  habit  of  lashing  the  helm 
a'lee. H 

Try  back. — To  pay  back,  or  let  go  back 
Spoken  of  a  rope  or  cable  which  is  being 
hauled  upon,  it  means  "  let  it  go  out  again. " 

Trysail  (a  name  derived,  probably,  from  sails 
set  when  "trying  "). — The  trysails,  as  part  of 
a  vessel's  inventory,  are  small  sails  used  in  very 
bad  weather,  when  no  others  can  be  carried, 
or,  occasionally,  for  rough  work.  But  in  fore- 
and-aft  rig,  when  the  trysail  is  spoken  of,  it 
means  a  gaff  sail  (such  as  the  mainsail  of  a 
cutter)  without  a  boom.  Such  a  sail  is  made 
of  stouter  canvas  than  the  fair  weather  sails, 
and,  the  boom  being  absent,  is  very  much 
better  suited  to  rough  winter  work ;  for  a 
boom-sail  holds  the  wind  when  a  trysail  will  Trysail. 

298  A   DICTIONARY   pF    SEA    TEKMS. 

readily  shake  it  out,  while  the  latter  possesses  the  further  advan- 
tage that  it  can  be  quickly  brailed  or  triced  up. 

Trysail  mast  (in  old  ships). — "  A  spar  abaft  the  fore  and  main  masts 
for  hoisting  the  trysail."     (Smyth.)     They  are  now  seldom  seen. 

Tuck. — That  part  of  a  vessel's  stern  immediately  under  her 
counter  and  terminating  under  the  tuck-rail — which  is  a  line  of 
horizontal  timbers  forming  part  of  the  counter  of  a  ship. 

Tumble  home. — [See  Fall  Home.) 

Tumbler. — A  fitting  between  the  jaws  of  a  gaff  to  prevent  its 
chafing  the  mast.     Sometimes  called  a  clapper. 

Turk's  head. — An  ornamental  knot  used  on  side  ropes  or 
wherever  else  convenient.  lbs  name  is  derived  from  a  supposed 
resemblance  to  a  turban. 

Turn. — To  take  a  turn. — To  pass  a  rope  once  or  twice  over  a 
spar,  etc. 

Turn  in. — 1.  Of  a  rope  or  rigging,  to  turn  the  end  over  and 
into  the  rope  itself,  thus  making  an  eye,  generally  enclosing 
something.  So  to  turn  in  dead-eyes  is  to  secure  the  ends  of  the 
shroud  round  the  dead-eye.  This  is  the  method  in  which  dead- 
eyes  are  usually  fitted. 

2.  To  turn  in,  among  seafaring  men,  means  to  go  below ;  or  if 
already  below,  to  get  into  one's  bunk. 

Turn-turtle. — An  expression  sometimes  used  of  a  boat  when  she 
suddenly  turns  in  the  wrong  direction,  as  up  to  the  wind,  etc. ;  but 
some  use  the  same  term  when  she  capsizes. 

Turn  up. — To  summon,  as  "Turn  up  the  hands,"  an  order  on 
shipboard  to  summon  all  hands  on  deck. 

Turret  ship. —  A  ship  of  war  in  which  the  heavy  guns  are 
mounted  on  rotating  and  covered  decks  called  turrets. 

Twiddling  line. — This  term  is  now  seldom  heard  because  the 
thing  itself  is  no  longer  in  use.  In  old  ships  the  twiddling-line  was 
a  small  line  employed  to  steady  the  steering  wheel ;  and  it  was  often 
of  ornamental  appearance. 

Twig. — To  twig,  to  pull  upon  a  bowline  (Smyth). 

Twine. — Strong  thread  used  in  sail-making. 

Two  blocks.— {See  Chock  a'block.) 

Tye. — A  rope  or  chain.  In  ships  it  is  often  part  of  a  purchase, 
such  as  that  used  in  hoisting  topsail  or  top  gallant  yards. 

Tye  block  and  fly  block.  — Blocks  connected  with  the  lifting  of 
heavy  yards  in  square  rigged  ships. 

Ties. — Ropes  or  bands  of  sail-cloth  employed  in  tying  up  sails 
when  they  are  furled. 

Typhoon. — A  violent  hurricane  in  the  Eastern  seas. 

A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEKMS.  299 


•    Ullage. — That  part  which  a  cask  lacks  of  being  full. 

Un. — Unbend. — To  unlash  or  take  off,  i.e.,  the  direct  opposite  to 
bend,  which  is  to  put  up  or  tie  up.  So  a  sail  is  unbent  when  taken 
off  its  yard  or  boom,  etc. 

Unbitt. — To  loosen  the  belay  of  a  rope  from  the  bitts.  (See 

Unclaimed. — Spoken  of  a  vessel,  it  is  the  same  as  "derelict;" 
a  vessel  found  without  any  living  person  or  domestic  animal  on 
board,  and  if  left  unclaimed  for  a  certain  period,  becomes  the 
property  of  the  finder,  or  if  claimed  he  has  a  lien  on  it  to  the  full 
extent  of  the  salvage.  But  if  any  domestic  animal  is  on  board  she 
is  not  derelict. 

Unhandy  (of  a  boat). — Not  handy,  slow  in  stays,  etc. 

Unreeve. — To  draw  ropes  out  from  sheaves  or  blocks. 

Unrig. — To  take  the  rigging  off  a  vessel,  as  for  laying  up,  etc. 

Unship. — To  remove  anything  from  its  proper  place.  Thus  the 
rowlocks  may  be  looked  upon  as  the  proper  place  for  oars ;  and, 
therefore,  to  unship  oars  is  to  take  them  out  of  the  rowlocks. 

Una  rig. — A  rig  at  one  time  very  common  in  Norfolk,  from 
whence  it  nas  been  to  a  certain  extent  taken  up  on  the  Upper 
Thames  and  other  smooth  water  rivers.  It  consists  of  one  sail  only 
(whence  the  name),  with  gaff  and  boom,  hoisted  by  a  single  halyard, 
the  mast  being  stepped  very  far  forward.  The  boat  carrying  the 
una  rig  is  usually  very  shallow  and  beamy,  the  breadth  being 
carried  aft ;  and  she  is  fitted  with  a  centreboard.  Her  qualities 
come  out  when  working  to  windward,  for  which  she  is  peculiarly 
adapted ;  she  is  not  suited,  however,  to  broken  water.  "  Una  boats 
should  be  kept  well  down  by  the  stern,  as  if  they  are  down  by  the 
head  they  gripe  or  fly  to  windward,  and  no  amount  of  weather 
helm  will  keep  them  away."  (Davies.)  This  rule,  indeed,  applies 
more  or  less  to  every  craft.  Norfolk  wherries  are  the  origin  of  una 
rig,  and  on  their  own  waters  are  unsurpassable.     {See  Wherry.) 

Under. — Under  bare  poles. — A  ship  is  described  thus  when  she 
has  no  sails  set :  and  in  this  condition  she  sometimes  runs  before  the 
wind,  which  is  called  scudding  under  bare  poles.     (See  SCUD.) 

Under  canvas. — Having  sails  set ;  in  contradistinction  to  being 
under  bare  poles. 

Under-current. — A  current  under  the  surface  of  the  water,  and 

ten  in  a  direction  contraiy  to  that  of  the  surface. 

Under-manned. — Lacking  the  number  of  hands  (men)  necessary 
to  work  a  vessel  properly. 

Under-masted. — When  the  masts  of  a  vessel  are  too  short. 

Under-run. — To  under-run  a  tackle  is  to  separate  its  parts.  To 
under-run  a  hawser  or  rope  is  to  drop  it  underneath  any  object  so  as 
to  clear  it. 


A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TEliMS. 

Underset. — "  Wherever  the  wind  impels  the  surface  water  directly 
upon  the  shore  of  a  hay  the  water  below  restores  equilibrium  by 
taking  a  direction  contrary  to  the  wind.  The  resaca,  or  underset, 
is  particularly  dangerous  on  those  beaches  where  heavy  surf 
prevails."     (Smyth.) 

Under-shore. — To  raise  up  by  shores  placed  underneath. 

Under  the  lee. — 1.  Under  the  shelter  of  any  object. 

2.  The  tide  setting  under  the  lee  of  a  vessel.     (See  Lee.) 

Under  the  wind. — To  be  sheltered  by  any  object  so  as  not  to 
feel  the  force  of  the  wind.  The  same  as  under  the  lee  of  anything. 
(See  Lee.) 

Under  turns. — (See  OVER  TURNS.) 

Under  way. — To  have  way,  i.e.,  motion;  or,  in  other  words,  to  be 
making  progress.  This  term  must  be  distinguished  from  the  next, 
which  is  pronounced  in  exactly  the  same  manner  ;  the  mistake  being 
often  made. 

Under  weigh. — To  be  in  the  act  of  weighing  anchor.  Thus  a 
vessel  may  be  under  weigh  without  having  way  on  her,  or,  in  other 
words,  "under  weigh  but  not  under  way." 

Under-writers. — "  Parties  who  take  upon  themselves  the  risk 
of  insurance,  and  so  called  from  subscribing  their  names  at  the 
foot  of  the  policy.  They  are  legally  presumed  to  be  acquainted 
with  every  custom  of  the  trade  whereon  they  enter  a  policy." 

Uneven  Keel.— (See  Keel.) 

UNION,  Union  Jack.— 
The  Union  is  the  national  flag 
of  Great  Britain.  When  hoisted 
on  a  Jack-staff  it  may  be  called 
the  Union  Jack  ;  otherwise  the 
latter  name  is  incorrect.  It  is 
a  composition  of  the  flags  of 
England,  Scotland,  and  Ireland, 
or,  in  other  words,  of  the  cross 
of  St.  George  (a  red  cross  on  a 
white  field),  the  saltier  of  St. 
Andrew  (a  white  saltier  on  a 
blue  field),  and  the  saltier  of 
St.  Patrick  (a  red  saltier  on  a 
white  field).  From  the  date  of 
the  union  of  England  and  Scot- 
land it  consisted  of  the  flags  of 
these  two  countries  only  ;  when 
the  union  with  Ireland  took 
place,  the  Irish  flag  was  also  in- 
troduced. The  manner  in  which 
this  composition  is  obtained  is 
purely  heraldic,  and  may  be 
to  some  extent  understood  by  Union  Jack. 

A   DICTIONARY    OF   SEA    TERMS.  301 

reference  to  the  figures.  Those  who  would  know  more  of  the 
subject  may  be  referred  to  Mr.  Macgeorge's  short  "History  of 
Flags;"  or  to  the  magazine,  Good  Words,  for  July,  1897. 

Up. — This  word  is  often  used  at  sea  as  an  order  meaning  to  raise 
up,  as  "  up  anchor,"  "  up  topsail,"  etc.,  just  as  the  word  down  " 
often  implies  "  lower. "  To  up  helm  is  to  put  the  helm  up,  that  is 
up  to  the  wind,  or,  in  other  words,  against  the  wind.     (See  HELM.) 

Up  (of  the  tide). — The  tide  rising.  In  a  river  this  is  very  easily 
remembered,  for  as  rivers  must  have  their  source  on  high  ground 
their  waters  must  ran  downwards  to  the  sea.  The  same  applies 
with  regard  to  the  stream  of  a  river  where  there  is  no  tide.  The 
stream  is  the  water  running  down  from  the  hills,  and,  therefore,  to  go 
up  must  be  to  go  against  the  stream,  and  vice  versd. 

Up  river. — A  name  given  to  that  portion  of  a  river  which  is  above 
the  first  lock  :  that  is  where  there  is  no  longer  a  tide.  So  we  often 
speak  of  up-river  boats,  etc.,  meaning  boats  suitable  to  the  non-tidal 
parts  of  a  river.  The  expression,  however,  may  often  mean  any  part 
of  a  river  up  away  from  the  sea,  or  where  the  water  becomes  fresh  : 
and  in  this  sense  it  is  generally  used  by  down-river  men. 

Upper. — Upper  and  lower  caps. — The  rings  at  the  head  of  a  mast 
through  which  a  topmast  passes.  The  lower  cap  is  often  incorpor- 
ated with  the  trestle  tree,  which  supports  the  weight  of  the  topmast, 
by  its  fid.  This  combination  is  occasionally  called  the  cap  and  yoke. 
(See  Cap  and  Yoke.) 

Upper  works  (old  term). — The  same  as  freeboard  when  a  vessel 
is  loaded. 


Vanes,  or  vanes. — Ropes  extending  from  the  peak  of  a  gaff, 
sprit,  or  lateen  yard,  to  the  sides  of  a  vessel ;  their  office  being  to 
steady  either  of  these  when  hoisted  with- 
out a  sail,  as  is  often  the  case  in  square 
rigged  vessels  and  steam  boats.  In  the 
Thames  and  sea-going  barges  they  always 
exist,  and  serve  the  further  purpose  of 
main  sheets  when  the  vessel  is  hay  laden 
or  freighted  with  any  cargo  which  neces- 
sitates the  sail  being  reefed  up  so  high 
that  the  sheet  cannot  be  used.  In  lateen 
rig  they  also  assist  in  working  the  sails. 

Vail  (old  term). — To  lower,  as  in  dip-{!£!J!!4^b-?\^.3fe>_ 
ping  a  flag. 

Veer. — To  veer  (in  sailing). — To  turn 
away  from  the  wind.  But  the  word  is 
almost  obsolete,  having  been  replaced 
by  the  more  familiar  term  wear  (which 

To  veer  out  (of  a  rope). — To  let  out  a  hawser  or  any  other  rope  by 
which  a  vessel  is  fast,  or  by  which  anything  is  fast  to  her.     Thus,  if 

302  A    DICTIONARY   OF    SEA    TERMS. 

a  dinghy  in  tow  be  too  close  to  a  yacht's  stem,  her  guest  rope  may 
be  "veered  out."  Or,  again,  if  a  vessel  ride  uneasily  for  want  of 
cable,  the  cable  may  be  "  veered  out."  So  also  if  the  cable  be 
running  out  when  it  should  be  fast,  it  is  said  to  be  "  veering." 

Veer  and  haul. — Hauling  on  a  rope  and  slackening  up  again 

Veering  and  backing  of  the  wind. — The  veering  of  the  wind  is  its 
change  in  direction  with  the  sun.,  i.e.  from  E.  through  S.  to  W.,  etc. 
Its  backing  is  its  change  in  the  other  direction.     {See  WINDS.) 

Voyal.  — "  A  rope  used  on  shipboard  to  bring  the  pressure  of  the 
capstan  to  bear  on  the  cable  without  the  necessity  of  winding  the 
latter  round  the  barrel"  (Brande  and  Cox). 


Waft.— A  small  pennant.     (See  Wheft.) 

Wager  boat. — A  boat  in  which  races  are  rowed.  The  name 
would  appear  to  be  derived  from  the  fact  that  in  professional  racing 
wagers  are  laid  by  the  competitors  or  their  backers  on  the'  result  of 
a  meeting.  The  type  of  wager  boat  now  in  use  is  the  improved 
"  whiff,"  called  the  best  boat.   (See  Best  Boat  and  Whiff.) 

Waggon. — A  place  on  board  a  ship  where  superannuated  goods 
are  stored.     The  term  applies  principally  to  old  war-ships. 

Waist. — Actually  that  part  of  a  vessel  between  the  beam  and 
the  quarter.  The  term,  however,  more  particularly  refers  to  those 
vessels  which  have  quarter  decks.  In  these  it  is  that  part  of  the 
main  deck  immediately  forward  of  the  quarter  deck  ;  and  not  having 
any  upper  deck,  it  has  the  appearance  of  being  a  low  deck  or  well. 
Thus  a  flush-decked  ship  can  hardly  be  said  to  have  a  waist.  In 
old  ships  with  big  poops  the  waist  was  just  forward  of  the  poop  ; 
to-day  it  is  more  frequently  seen  on  steam-vessels  than  in  sailing 

Waist  anchor. — An  additional  anchor  in  a  ship,  stowed  somewhat 
further  aft  than  the  main  anchor,  though  not  in  the  waist. 

Waist  cloth  (old  Naval  term). — A  painted  covering  for  a 

Waist  rail. — In  ships,  a  sort  of  channel  rail  or  moulding  on  a 
ship's  sides. 

Waist-tree. — Another  name  for  a  rough-tree,  in  the  vicinity  of  the 
waist  of  a  ship. 

Waister. — A  name  for  a  person  who  is  no  good.  As  an  old 
Naval  term  it  implies  those  green-hands  or  superannuated  ones  who, 
not  being  fit  to  send  aloft,  were  relegated  to  the  waist  of  the  ship, 
where  they  might  pick  junk  or  swab  the  decks. 

Wake. — The  track  a  vessel  leaves  behind  her  on  the  surface  of 
the  water.     One  vessel  may  therefore  sail  in  another's  wake. 

Wale. — 1.  In  shipbuilding,  the  wale,  or  outer  wale,  of  a  boat  is 
the  strake  running  beneath  and  supporting  the  outer  edge  of  the 

A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  303 

gunwale.  (See  fig.)  It  is  some- 
times called  the  band,  or  the 
rubbing  piece,  and  is  occasion- 
ally incorporated  with .  the 
uppermost  strake  of  the  boat. 
The  inwale  is  a  corresponding 
strip  running  inside  the  boat.  «,... 

(&e  Gunwale.)  wale" 

2.  Wales  or  walings  are  strengthening  planks  or  battens  laid 
down  upon  the  ribs  inside  a  boat  to  protect  the  skin.  Those  in  the 
lowest  part  of  the  boat  are  called  foot  walings.  (See  diagrams  under 

Walk  away. — One  boat  is  said  to  walk  away  from  another 
when  she  easily  passes  the  other  and  leaves  her  a  long  way 

Walker  (Mathew  Walker).— The  name  of  a  stopper  knot.  (See 

Wall. —  Wall  knot  ("  Wale-knot  "). — The  name  of  a  knot  raised 
at  the  end  of  a  rope  by  untwisting  the  strands  and  passing  them 
among  each  other. 

Wall-sided. — A  vessel  with  perpendicular  sides,  as  a  barge. 

Ware.— (See  Wear.) 

Warp. — 1.  A  rope  by  which  something  is  dragged. 

2.  A  bight  hawser  (i.e.,  a  strong  rope)  by  which  a  vessel  is  moved  t 
this  is  called  warping;  it  was  an  old  method,  before  the  intro- 
duction of  tugs,  of  getting  a  ship  out  of  harbour.  Warps  were 
made  fast  to  buoys,  and  being  heaved  upon  gradually  brought  the 
vessel  along  until  she  could  make  sail. 

3.  Warp  (of  timbers).  —  To  curl  up  :  the  usual  consequence  of 
unseasoned  timber  being  allowed  to  become  wet  and  dry  alternately. 

4.  Warp  and  weft  (in  sail-making). — The  warp  is  the  lengthwise 
measurement  of  sailcloth,  the  width  being  the  weft. 

Wash. — The  commotion  resulting  in  a  wave,  created  by  a  vessel 
moving  rapidly  through  the  water.  This  is  her  wash,  not  her  swell. 
(See  Ground  Swell  and  Swell.) 

A'wash. — Wet.  Gunwales  under.  Hence  a  boat  is  said  to  sail 
"  all  a'wash  "  when  she  heels  over  under  sail  so  that  her  decks  are 
washed  by  the  water. 

Wash  board. — A  planking  fixed  along  the  bows  and  sides  of  a 
boat  to  prevent  the  water  she  cuts  from  coming  on  deck.  (See 
Weather-boards.  ) 

Wash  strake. — The  same  as  wash  board. 

Wash  of  an  oar. — The  blade  is  occasionally  called  by  this  name. 

Wash  (a  measure). — In  the  shellfish  trades  one  fourth  of  an 
oyster  bushel,  or  "  tub,"  the  tub  itself  varying  according  to  locality. 

Watches. — The  division  of  a  ship's  company  into  two,  called  the 
starboard  wa  tch  and  the  port  watch;  these  names  being  derived  from 

304  A    DICTIONAKY    OF    SEA    TEKMS. 

the  situation  in  which  the  hammocks  of  the  crews  are  usually  hung. 
"  The  crew  are  divided  into  two  divisions,  as  equally  as  may  be, 
called  the  watches.  Of  these  the  chief  mate  commands  the  lar- 
board (port),  and  the  second  mate  the  starboard.  They  divide  the 
time  between  them,  being  on  and  off  duty,  or,  as  it  is  called,  on 
deck  and  below,  every  other  four  hours." 

Dog  watches. — "  They  are  to  shift  the  watches  each  night,  so  that 
the  same  watch  need  not  be  on  deck  the  same  hours.  In  order  to 
effect  this,  the  watch  from  4  to  8  p.m.  is  divided  into  two  halves,  or 
dog  watches,  one  from  4  to  6,  and  the  other  from  6  to  8.  By  this 
means  they  divide  the  24  hours  into  7  watches  instead  of  6,  and  thus 
-shift  the  hours  every  night."  (Dana,  "Two  Years  before  the 
Mast.")  The  system  of  watches  has  somewhat  changed  since  the 
introduction  of  steam  vessels,  upon  which  the  4  hours  on  and  the  4 
off  has  given  way  in  some  cases  to  4  on  and  8  off,  or  to  day  and  night 
watches  of  12  hours'  duration.     (See  also  under  Bells.) 

Water. — Water  bailiff. — An  official  whose  duties  relate  more 
especially  to  the  inspection  of  vessels  under  weigh  within  certain 

Water  borne. — Brought  by  water. 

Water-laid  (called  by  the  stow-boat  fisherman  "  stow-boat  rope"). 
—  The  same  as  cablet,  or  cable-laid,  i.e.,  left-handed  rope.  {See 

Water-laid  coils. — Those  laid  left-handed  or  against  the  sun. 

Water-line  (in  Naval  architecture). — A  section  of  a  hull,  taken 
parallel  to  the  line  of  flotation.  There  are  two  cardinal  ones  ;  the 
water-line  or  light  water-line,  and  the  load-water  line.  The  first  is 
the  line  to  which  a  vessel  is  designed  to  float ;  the  second  that  down 
to  which  she  may  with  safety  be  immersed  when  freighted.  And 
between  these  two  there  may  be,  for  purposes  of  calculation  in  the 
designing  of  a  vessel,  any  number  of  water-lines.  In  the  popular 
sense  the  water-line  of  a  boat  is  the  line  of  flotation.      {See  Lines.) 

Water-logged. — A  vessel  is  water- logged  when  full  of  water  but 
still  floating ;  she  has  then  lost  all  her  buoyancy  and  becomes  the 
creature  of  every  sweeping  sea,  under  which  circumstances  she  is 
often  abandoned.  The  term  relates,  of  course,  only  to  wooden  ships 
which  do  not  sink.  Those  freighted  with  timber  occasionally 
become  water-logged. 

Waterman. — Generally  speaking,  one  whose  vocation  is  carried  on 
by  the  waterside.  But  a  distinction  is  to  be  made,  for  not  one  half 
of  those  men  whose  work  is  connected  with  the  water  are  watermen. 
The  Thames  or  Queen's  waterman  is  one  who  has  served  his  appren- 
ticeship to  some  member  of  the  Watermen's  Company,  and  who  is 
fit  to  navigate  on  the  Thames. 

Watermen 's  and  Lightermen's  Company. — One  of  the  riparian 
authorities  on  the  Thames.  "  The  members  have  a  monopoly  of 
the  navigation  of  craft  plying  between  Teddington  and  Gravesend  ; 
and  the  court  licenses  and  exercises  certain  jurisdiction  over  its 
members. " 

A    DICTIONAKY    OF    SEA    TEKMS.  305 

Water-proof  clothing. —(See  OlL-SKINS. ) 

Water  sail,  or  save  all  (in  ships). — "A  small  sail  sometimes  set 
under  the  foot  of  a  lower  studding-sail."  (Smyth).  (See  STUDDING 

Water  stang.—A  pole  or  rod  across  a  stream,  or  a  system  of  such 

Water  stead. — The  old  name  for  the  bed  of  a  river. 
Water  stoup. — A  name  sometimes  given  to  the  common  winkle. 
Water  ways  (in  a  ship). — The  deck  planks  extending  round  the 
ship's  sides,  and  usually  having  grooves  or  channels  which  cany  off 
the  water  from  the  decks.      In  a  small  half-decked  boat  the  narrow 
decking  round  the  well  is  called  the  water  ways. 

Water  war. — Another  name  for  the  peculiar  rising  of  the  tide 
which  in  the  Severn  is  called  the  bore,  or  anciently,  the  hygre. 
(See  Eagre.) 

Wattles. — Hurdles  composed  of  withies  woven  together  and 
often  placed  along  a  river  bank  at  high-water  mark  to  keep  the 
banks  from  falling  in. 

Wavesori. — Goods  after  shipwreck  floating  on  the  waves. 

Way.* — Momentum. — It  is  important  to  note  the  difference 
between  this  and  the  term  "weigh,"  the  two  being  often  con- 
founded. A  vessel  in  motion  is  said  to  have  way  on  her  :  and  when 
she  ceases  to  move,  to  have  no  way.  But  a  vessel  under  weigh  is 
one  in  the  act  of  weighing  her  anchor,  or  having  weighed  it,  during 
which  time  she  has  no  way  on  her. 

Fresh  way  is  increased  speed  made  by  a  vessel  under  sail.  (See 
under  Fresh.  ) 

Head-way. — To  make  head -way  is  to  make  progress  forward.  (See 
under  HEAD). 

Stern-way. — A  vessel  makes  stern-way  when  by  some  accident 
she  moves  stern  foremost.     (See  under  Stern.) 

To  gather  way  is  to  make  fresh  way. 

To  lose  way,  to  fail  in  making  any  progress  and  lose  that  already 

Gang-way. — An  opening  in  the  bulwarks  of  a  vessel,  through 
whicli  a  gang -board  may  be  pushed. 

'Way  aloft,  or  'way  up  (literally  aivay  aloft). — A  command  to 
the  crew  of  a  ship  to  go  aloft  to  furl,  reef,  etc. 

Ways. — Baulks  of  timber  laid  down  for  launching  vessels  upon,  or 
for  moving  any  heavy  weight. 

Wear  (from  "weather")  or  veer. — To  wear  or  wear  ship  is  to 
put  a  vessel  on  the  other  tack  by  bringing  her  round  stern  to  wind 
(in  other  words  by  paying  her  head  off  before  the  wind) ;  and  it  is, 
therefore,  the  opposite  to  tacking,  which  brings  her  round  head  to 
wind.  (Compare  with  Tack.)  In  fore-and-aft  boats  the  practice 
is  not  general ;   but  there  are  occasions,  and  more  especially  with 

*  Way  is  occasionally  the  same  as  a  ship's  run  or  rake,  but  is  most  commonly 
understood  of  her  sailing.    (Falconer.) 


306  A   DICTIONAKY    OF    SEA    TEKMS. 

slow  turning  craft,  as  for  instance  when  from  a  heavy  sea  a  boat 
refuses  to  "  wind  helm,"  upon  which  it  is  necessary  to  wear.  The 
safest  plan  is  then  to  settle  the  peak,  trim  in  the  main  sheet,  and 
press  the  helm  up.  As  the  boat  gets  stern  to  wind  the  sail  will 
naturally  gybe,  and  as  soon  as  this  has  taken  place  the  peak  may  be 
again  hauled  up,  the  sheet  trimmed,  and  the  boat  brought  on  the 
other  tack  to  the  desired  course.  It  would  appear,  from  the  accounts 
of  fights  between  sailing  ships,  that  wearing  was  a  very  common 
evolution  in  old  naval  warfare. 

Wear  bare.  —  Spoken  of  ropes  that  are  thin  and  weak  from 
constant  friction  and  exposure.  Ropes  should  always  be  renewed 
before  they  have  worn  bare. 

"Weather  (Anglo-Saxon  ivoeder,  the  temperature  of  the  atmo- 
sphere).—The  term  as  a  nautical  expression,  says  Smyth,  is  applied 
to  all  things  to  windward  of  some  particular  situation.  Hence  the 
following :  The  weather  side  of  a  vessel  is  the  side  upon  which  the 
wind  blows,  the  other  side  being  the  leeward.  To  weather  another 
ship  (in  sailing)  is  to  pass  her  on  the  weather  or  windward  side.  To 
weather  a  gale  is  to  lie  to  in  a  gale  ;  that  is  with  the  vessel's  head 
to  wind  ;  and  she  is  said  to  have  weathered  the  gale  when  she  has 
lived  safely  through  it. 

Weather  beam. — That  side  of  the  ship's  beam  presented  to  the 

Weather  board. — That  side  of  the  ship  to  windward. 

Weather  boards. — Boards  set  up  round  the  bows  of  a  boat  to 
prevent  water  from  coming  over  her.  They  usually  extend  from 
the  headpost  to  a  point  just  forward  of  the  shrouds.  It  must 
be  admitted,  however,  that  as  a  boat  ships  water  at  the  shrouds 
quite  as  much  as  over  the  bows,  and  in  some  cases  a  good  deal  more, 
the  weather  boards  are  seldom  taken  sufficiently  far  aft.  It  would 
undoubtedly  be  better,  therefore,  to  carry  them  from  the  headpost  to 
the  beam  amidships,  when  that  is  possible. 

Weather  boat. — One  which  behaves  herself  well,  or  the  reverse,  in 
any  weather.     The  one  is  a  good  weather  boat,   the  other  a  bad. 

Weather-bound  or  weather-fast  (anciently  woeder-foest). — Unable 
to  proceed  because  of  the  condition  of  the  weather. 

Weather  clew. — (See  Clew.) 

Weather-cocking. — A  term  used  of  boats  which  have  a  troublesome 
habit  of  running  up  to  the  wind  and  refusing  to  pay  off  either  on  one 
side  or  the  other.  The  position  such  a  boat  then  assumes  is  supposed 
to  resemble  that  of  a  weather-cock  ;  whence  the  term.  It  may  be 
caused  through  some  mistake  on  the  part  of  the  helmsman  (see  Miss 
stays  under  Tack)  or  it  may  be  the  fault  of  the  boat  itself  being 
too  much  down  by  the  head  ;  in  winch  latter  case,  if  a  change  in  the 
disposition  of  the  ballast  does  not  cure  the  fault,  a  considerable 
increase  in  the  size  or  weight  of  the  rudder  has  been  recom- 
mended. Very  long  boats  will  be  more  liable  to  this  than  short 

A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  307 

Weather  coil. — "  An  expression  signifying  that  a  ship  has  had  her" 
head  brought  about,  so  as  to  lie  that  way  which  her  stern  did 
before,  as  by  the  veering  of  the  wind,  or  the  motion  of  the  helm  ; 
the  sails  remaining  trimmed."     (Smyth.) 

Weather  coiling. — "  A  ship  resuming  her  course  after  being  taken 
aback  ;  rounding  off  bv  a  stern-board,  and  coining  up  to  it  again." 

Weather  eye. — "  Keep  your  weather  eye  open" — keep  a  good  look 
out  to  windward.  Hence  in  general  conversation  it  usually  means 
keep  a  good  look  out. 

Weather  gage  is  the  distance  of  a  vessel  (or  any  object)  from 
another  on  the  weather  or  wind  side  ;  e.g. ,  a  ship  on  the  weather 
side  (or  to  windward)  of  another  is  said  to  have  the  weather  gage  of 
her ;  just  as  that  one  to  leeward  is  said  to  have  the  lee  gage. 

Weather  gall. — (See  Wind  Gall.) 

"  A  weather  gall  at  morn 
Fine  weather  all  gone. " 

Weather  helm. — A  vessel  is  described  as  carrying  weather  helm 
when — her  tendency  being  to  run  up  into  the  wind — the  helm  must 
be  kept  over  to  the  weather  side.  Therefore,  to  give  her  weather 
helm  is  to  put  the  helm  up,  i.e.,  over  to  the  weather  side.  (Compare 
with  Lee  helm,  under  the  heading  Helm.) 

Weather  lurch. — A  roll  over  to  windwai-d. 

Weather  ropes. — The  tarred  ropes  (old  term,  before  wire  roping 
was  brought  in). 

Weather  sheets  (in  square  rig).  —  The  ropes  attached  to  those 
corners  of  a  square  sail  which  for  the  time  being  are  the  tacks  or 
weather  clews.    (See  Tack  and  Clew.) 

Weather  shore. — The  shore  to  windward.  (Illustrated  under  the 
heading  Lee.) 

Weather  tide. — A  tide  running  weatherwards  ;  or,  in  other  words, 
a  tide  which,  running  contrary  to  the  direction  of  the  wind,  presses  a 
vessel,  as  she  is  sailing,  towards  the  windward.  (See  fig.  under  Lee.) 

Weather  warning.  —  A  forecast  from  the  Meteorological  Office. 
(See  Signals.) 

Weather  wheel. — "  The  position  of  a  man  who  steers  a  large  ship, 
from  his  standing  on  the  weather  side  of  the  wheel. "     (Smyth.) 

Weed. — To  clear  rigging  of  knots,  seizings,  etc. 

Weekly  account. — "  An  old  name  for  a  white  patch  on  the 
collar  of  a  midshipman's  coat."     (Smyth.) 

Weeping'. — Drops  of  water  oozing  through  the  seams  of  a  vessel. 

Weevil. — (Anglo-Saxon  weft). — An  insect  resembling  a  maggot, 
found  in  old  biscuits  ;  it  also  perforates  wood. 

Weft. — In  sail-making,  the  width  measurement  in  a  sail  cloth, 
the  length  measure  being  the  warp. 

Wejt.—A  small  flag.     (See  Wheft.) 

x  2 

308  A   DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS. 

Weigh  (Anglo-Saxon  woeg).  —  To  lift  the  anchor  from  the 
ground.  (See  Anchor.)  This  term  must  not  be  confounded  with 
"way,"  as  is  too  often  the  case.  (See  Way.)  A  vessel  is  under 
weigh  from  the  moment  her  anchor  is  weighed,  or  off,  the  ground  (or 
as  soon  as  she  has  slipped  her  mooring),  even  though  she  may  have 
no  way  on  her. 

Well.  —That  part  of  a  yacht  or  sailing  boat  which  is  not  decked 
or  covered  in  :    it  is  often  called  the  cockpit. 

Well  room  is  the  space  in  a  half-decked  boat  which  is  open  or 
undecked,  and  hence  resembles  a  well.  The  deep  part  of  a  vessel, 
in  which  water  accumulates,  and  from  which  it  is  pumped,  or,  in 
boats,  baled  out,  is  also  sometimes  called  the  well.  North  Sea  and 
other  fishing  vessels  are  built  with  a  large  compartment  in  their 
holds,  through  which  the  water  passes  so  that  fish  may  be  preserved 
alive  for  a  considerable  period.  This  compartment  is  called  the 
well.     It  appears  also  in  the  old  Thames  peter-boat. 

Well  found.  — A  vessel  fully  equipped  and  with  all  gear  in  good 
condition  is  said  to  be  well  found. 

Well  grown,  said  of  a  spar  or  timber  when  the  grain  of  the  wood 
runs  in  the  right  direction. 

"Well  there!"  usually  "Well  there,  belay!" — Equivalent  to 
saying  "  That  will  do,  belay  !" 

Wending  (another  name  for,  though  more  correctly  a  local  pro- 
nunciation of  the  term,  winding). — Putting  a  vessel  about.  (See 

Wentle  (old  term). — To  roll  over. 

West. — A  cardinal  point  on  the  compass. 

Westing. — Distance  westward.  The  movement  of  the  sun  after 
passing  the  meridian. 

Westward  Ho  ! — This  was  one  of  the  cries  of  the  old  Thames 
watermen.     It  signified  a  readiness  to  proceed  westward. 

West  Country  parson. — "  The  hake  ;  from  the  black  mark  on  its 
back,  and  its  abundance  on  the  West  coast." 

Wet. — A  wet  boat. — One  which  sails  all  awash,  i.e.,  gunwales 
under  ;  or  one  which  plunges  her  head,  bringing  water  aboard. 

Wet  dock. — A  dock  in  which  vessels  float.  / 

Whaler. — A  ship  employed  in  the  whale  trade. 

Whale  boat. — A  long  boat  used  in  whaling.  It  is  sharp  at  both 
ends,  swift  and  buoyant.  Old  whale  boats  may  often  be  seen  along 
the  coast,  having  generally  been  picked  up  as  bargains  by  the 
'longshore  men.  Some  of  these  boats  reach  to  56ft.  in  length, 
with  a  beam  of  10ft. 

Wharf. — 1.  A  lading  place  for  vessels. 

Wharf  dues. — Charges  made  for  lading  or  discharging  cargoes  at 
certain  wharfs. 

Wharfinger. — One  who  owns  a  wharf. 

2.  A  scar  of  rock,  or  a  sand  bank,  as  Mud  Wharf,  Lancashire. 




What. — What  cheer  Ho  ?  (often  pronounced  "  whatchee  "  for 
what  cheer  ?). — A  greeting  common  in  many  localities  ;  more 
especially  in  the  Eastern  counties. 

What  ship  is  that  ? — A  signal  expressed  hy  B  D  of  the  International 
Code,  and  often  seen  permanently  exposed  at  Lloyd's  signalling 
stations.  Hence,  when  a  person  uses  an  exceptionally  long  word, 
or  some  expression  heyond  the  understanding  of  his  hearers,  the 
seafaring  man  may  not  unnaturally  ask,  "  What  ship  is  that  ?" 

Wheel. — The  wheel  and  axle  hy  which  the  tiller  of  a  vessel  is 
worked.  It  is  not  frequently  found  in  yachts,  though  steam- 
launches,  even  of  the  smallest  size,  are  usually  furnished  with  it,  to 
enahle  one  man  to  both  steer  and  drive  the  engine. 

Wheel  house. — A  covering  over  the  wheel  in  large  vessels. 

Wheel  ropes  or  chains. — The  ropes  or  chains  which  communicate 
with  the  ship's  tiller  from  the  wheel. 

Wheft. — 1.  (Often  called  xohiff  or  waft).— 
A  long  streamer  used  either  as  a  signal  or 
at  the  mast  head,  for  ornament  or  to  aid  in 
steering.     2.  In  sail  making.     (See  Weft.) 

Whelk. — A  mollusc,  Buccinum  undatum, 
much  consumed  in  East  London,  and  valu- 
able as  bait  for  fishing. 

Whelk  tingle,  or  clog-whelk. — A  smaller 
whelk  (Purpura  lapillus),  which  has  the  power  to  bore  through  the 
shells  of  other  molluscs,  and  is,  therefore,  the  bite  noir  of  oyster 

Whelps. — The  projecting  ribs  on  the  barrel  of  a  capstan  or 
windlass.     They  enable  a  cable  to  get  a  good  bite. 

Wherry  (said  to  be  another  form  of  the  word  "ferry,"  from 
the  fact  that  wherries  were  often  ferry  boats). — Wherries  have  been, 
in  time  past,  of  different  builds  and  employed  for  different  purposes, 
and  they  have,  like  skiffs,  a  different  use  according  to  locality. 
The  old  Thames  wherries,  of 
which  some  few  are  still  to  be 
seen,  were  wide  and  long,  with 
a  high  pointed  bow  ending  in  a 
sharp  iron  nose.  (See  fig.)  They 
were  the  boats  used  by  watermen, 
and  often  became  ferry  boats. 
Where  the  wherry  is  actually  a 
feny  boat,  it  is  often  pointed  both  l>ow  and  stem,  and  rowed  either 
way.     Sometimes  it  is  large  and  almost  resembles  a  pontoon. 

Norfolk  wherry. — In  Norfolk  the  wheny  is  a  trading  barge,  of 
peculiar  build  and  una  rigged.     (See  under  NORFOLK.) 

Whiff.— 1.  A  small  flag.  (See  Wheft.)  2.  The  name  given  on 
the  Thames  to  a  long,  narrow,  out-rigged  sculling  boat  used  for 
racing.  It  superseded  the  wedge-shaped  wager  boat,  being  made 
by  the  Claspers,  and  has,  in  its  turn,  been  superseded  for  racing 

.t'±j.  ■  — *•— 

Old  Thames  Wherry. 



purposes  by  the  best  boat  (which  see)  of  the  present  day.  But  it  is 
still  used  by  scullers  in  practice,  and  in  rum  turn  races.  It  is  often 
clincher  built. 

One  who  blows  a  fife. 

and    single    block    used    in    lifting  light 

Whiffler  (old  term).- 

Whip.— 1.    "A   rope 
articles.      If  another    block  is  added    the  medium   is  known  as  a 
double  whip."  (Smyth.) 

Whip  upon  ivhip. — "  One  whip  applied  to  the  fall  of  another,  and 
so  on."     (Smyth.) 

2.  To  whip. — To  bind  up,  as  a  rope  served  (or  bound)  with  tarred 
twine  is  said  to  be  whipped  ;  from  which  we  have — 

Whipping. — A  sort  of  string  of  spun  yarn,  saturated  with  Stock- 
holm tar,  and  generally  used  in  whipping  the  ends  of  ropes.  (See 
under  KNOTS.) 

Whipper.  —  One  who  unloads  colliers  into 
lighters  on  the  Thames. 

Whirl. — Another  name  for  a  rope-winch. 

Whiskers. — Cross-trees  to  a  bowsprit ;  or  in 
large  vessels  to  a  jib-boom.  They  are  employed  in 
small  craft,  where  the  bowsprit  is  long,  or  when 
the  bows  of  the  boat  are  narrow,  to  extend  the 
bowsprit  shrouds  and  give  increased  lateral  support 
to  the  bowsprit,  just  as  top-mast  shrouds,  extended 
on  the  cross-trees,  do  to  a  top-mast.     (See  fig.) 

Whistle. —  Whistling  for  the  wind  is  a  practice 
so  ancient  and  so  constantly  followed  by  a  majority 
of  the  seafaring  and  fishing  community,  that  it  is 
difficult  to  believe  that  it  can  ever  die  out.  And, 
indeed,  if  the  amateur  who  has  not  yet  tried  the 
experiment  is  willing  to  do  so  on  the  next  occasion 
upon  which  the  wind  fails  him,  he  will  very  possibly 
return  a  partial  believer  in  it  himself. 

Whistling  psalms  to  the  taffrail. — An  expression 
signifying  the  throwing  away  of  good  advice  upon  some  person  who 
may  be  about  as  susceptible  to  its  influence  as  is  the  taffrail  of  his 

Wet  your  whistle. — To  drink.  Chaucer's  "  Miller's  Lady  of 
Trumpington  "  had  "  Hir  joly  whistle  wel  ywette." 

White. —  White  boot-top. — The  white  line  painted  round  a  vessel. 

White  caps  or  ivhite  horses. — Waves  the  crests  of  which  break 
into  white  foam. 

White  lapel. — "  An  old  term  for  a  naval  lieutenant,  from  the 
white  lapel  on  his  uniform." 

White  rope. — Rope  which  is  not  tarred.     (See  Rope.  ) 

White  squall. — A  sudden  squall  of  wind,  often  unforeseen,  cover- 
ing the  sea  with  a  mass  of  foam  called  spoon-drift.  It  is  common  to 
the  tropics  and  occasionally  occurs  in  the  Mediterranean. 


A    DICTIONARY    OF    SEA    TERMS.  311 

Wholesome  (often  written  "holsom"). — The  behaviour  of  a 
vessel  in  a  heavy  gale.  One  which  will  "  try,  hull,  and  ride  "  safely 
and  well  is  wholesome. 

Wick  (Anglo-Saxon  wye). — "  A  creek,  hay,  or  village  by  the 
side  of  a  river,"  as  Hampton  Wick,  on  the  Thames  ;  Walberswick, 
on  the  Suffolk  coast,  etc. 

Widder shins.  —  A  slang  word  signifying  "in  a  direction 
contrary  to  that  of  the  sun. " 

Widows'men. —  "Imaginary  sailors,  formerly  borne  on  the  books 
as  A.B.'s  for  wages  in  every  ship  in  commission  ;  they  ceased  with 
the  consolidated  pay  at  the  close  of  the  war.  The  institution  was 
dated  24  George  II.,  to  meet  widows'  pensions;  the  amount  of 
pay  and  provisions  for  two  men  in  each  hundred  was  paid  over  by 
the  Paymaster-general  of  the  Navy  to  the  widows'  fund."  (Smyth.) 
Captain  Basil  Hall  descril>es  the  system  as  "  an  official  fiction  by 
which  the  pay  of  so  many  imaginary  persons  was  transferred  to  a 
fund  for  the  relief  of  the  widows  of  non-commissioned  and  warrant 

Wild  (in  sailing). — To  steer  badly.  In  rowing,  to  keep  bad 
time,  a  bad  stroke,  and  get  excited. 

Wimble  (with  shipwrights). — The  boring  implement  worked  by 
the  centre-bit. 

Winch  (Anglo-Saxon  tvince). — A  species  of  small  windlass  with 
a  crank,  which  in  some  small  yachts  takes  the  place  of  the  windlass. 

Winch  bitts.— The  posts  which  support  the  winch. 

Wind. — Wind,  in  sailing,  is  described  according  to  the  direction 
in  winch  it  blows  upon  a  vessel.  Refer- 
ence to  the  accompanying  diagram  will 
best  explain  the  following  terms.  A. 
Wind  a'head.  B.  Wind  a'baft,  or 
a'stern.  (Sailing  with  the  wind  thus 
is  called  "  running. ")  C.  Wind  on  the 
port  beam.  D.  Wind  on  the  star- 
board beam.  E.  Wind  on  the  port 
bow.     F.  Wind  on  the  starboard  bow. 

(A  vessel   with   the  wind  on  the  bow    -c ►  i 

is  sailing  "  close-hauled. ")     G.   Wind 

athwart    the    beam,    port    side.      H. 

Wind    athwart    the    beam,    starboard 

side.     (With    the    wind    athwart    the 

beam    a    vessel    is    "  reaching.")      J. 

Wind    a'baft    the    beam,     port    side. 

K.   Wind  a'baft   the    beam,  starboard 

side.     (With  the  wind  in  this  direction 

the  vessel  is  "  sailing  large  "  or  "  free. ")      L.    Wind  on  the  port 

quarter.     M.   Wind  on  the  starboard  quarter. 

To  wind  is  to  go  about  head  to  wind  as  in  tacking  (see  Tack)  ; 
and  a  vessel  having  come  round  is  said  to  have  winded.     To  sail 



in  the  eye  of  t